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January 13, 2011

Black Pepper Plum!

Black pepper and plum ice- cream

The year was 2007 and the first year chefs at Silwood all had to submit their entries to The Flavour Challenge. I had plums, I had red wine, and I had an easy- peasy ice- cream recipe. 

When I added the pepper, the grinder broke and a stream of black dropped into the mixture. 'What the hell' I thought, and didn't bother to pick the peppercorns out. The result was mouth- puckering. 

The ice- cream base recipe is not exactly ideal- but for the home- cook with no ice- cream machine ( I'm still waiting for mine to be delivered) its quite handy. 
  • 1/2  box Orley whip (a dairy substitute found in the refrigerator section in major supermarkets- use only one sachet) 
  • 1/2  cup (125ml) castor sugar
  • 1/2 tin ideal milk, refrigerated overnight ( I pop it in the freezer for a 2- 3 hours if I've forgotten)
  • 800g ripe red plums, halved or quartered, pips removed and nasty bits cuts out
  • 700ml of your favourite red wine ( Yes, I only use 700ml so that the cook can drink the remaining 50ml)
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 40ml freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place the wine, castor sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring up to heat gradually, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Add the plums and poach until soft but not disintegrating. 
  2. Remove the plums with a slotted spoon and place in a blender. Blitz to a puree and push through a sieve (or if you don't mind bits of skin, just leave it). 
  3. Reduce the remaining red wine mixture to a dark syrup and set aside.  
  4. Use an electric beater to beat the Orley whip until soft peaks form. Gradually add half the castor sugar whilst beating. Place in a bowl and freeze for 30 minutes. 
  5. Beat the ideal milk until soft peaks form and gradually add the remaining sugar. 
  6. Combine the Orley whip mixture and Ideal milk mixture with the puree, freshly ground pepper and a little of the syrup. 
  7. Pour into a rectangular container (an old ice- cream tub is a great size) and freeze for 4- 5 hours or until nearly firm. Carefully pour over the syrup and strir enough to make dark red streaks in the pink mixture. Freeze until firm ( preferably overnight) 
  8. Serve as is. I wouldn't complicate it with much else- unless you have a dark chocolate torte lying around (as one does)

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