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
- 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.
- 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).
- Reduce the remaining red wine mixture to a dark syrup and set aside.
- 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.
- Beat the ideal milk until soft peaks form and gradually add the remaining sugar.
- Combine the Orley whip mixture and Ideal milk mixture with the puree, freshly ground pepper and a little of the syrup.
- 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)
- Serve as is. I wouldn't complicate it with much else- unless you have a dark chocolate torte lying around (as one does)