Nice as ice
PUBLISHED: 08:49 31 July 2013 | UPDATED: 08:49 31 July 2013
Some of the best ice-creams you can buy, I think, are the ones made by those who take the ingredients right from the farm to ice-cream cone.
The Dann family started making ice-cream in August 2008. Looking to add that extra value to the milk that their North Tuddenham-based 100 milking cow herd produced, they felt that creating a good quality ice-cream was a natural addition to their business, and just as importantly gave them an opportunity for the whole family to be involved. Using the Farmhouse brand, they gained a small grant to convert a derelict traditional Norfolk brick barn into a small factory, and that’s where it started.
In making their ice-cream, the Danns use as much Norfolk produce as possible: Sugar from British Sugar at Cantley, honey from bees on the farm, fruit from local producers including the Place family at Tunstead and Grange Farm, Rollesby, Norfolk Lavender, beer from Woodeforde’s and the Beeston brewery, mint from the Stangroom brothers and eggs from their own free-range flocks. All this effort makes the product as sustainable and traceable as possible with such low food miles too.
As their business grows they have recently added milkshakes to their range of products, selling them at outdoor events. Using their milk, a scoop of dairy ice-cream, a fruit sorbet and fresh fruit blended together to make a creamy, thick, semi-frozen fruit shake, ideal on a hot day.
You will find Norfolk Farmhouse Ice-cream at many events and festivals around the county this summer, but to find out more contact Simon Dann at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.farmhouseicecream.co.uk
Quick and easy strawberry ice-cream
You don’t need an ice-cream maker to make this recipe but, if you do have one, it works brilliantly too.
450g fresh strawberries
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
Juice of 1 orange
300ml fresh double or whipping cream
150g icing sugar
1 Hull the strawberries and puree them with the juice and icing sugar.
2 Whip the cream to soft peak stage and carefully fold in the puree.
3 If you have an ice-cream maker churn the mix for approx 20 mins. If you don’t have one, pour the mix into a shallow container and freeze until nearly frozen, then put the ice-cream back in the processor and blitz again until smooth before refreezing. This is easier to serve if it’s been in the fridge 30 mins before needed.
My favourite vanilla ice-cream
This recipe takes a few bowls and utensils but it does make a lovely, creamy, old-fashioned ice-cream, which can then be used for the base to any flavour. Use the freshest, best eggs and cream you can.
110g caster sugar
4 large fresh eggs yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.2 litres double or whipping cream
1 Place the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. You can stir the sugar a few times but once it has dissolved leave it -continuous stirring can cause the syrup to crystalise.
2 While the syrup is boiling, whisk the eggs yolks until they become light and fluffy. This is easiest in a free-standing mixer.
3 When the syrup reaches what is called thread stage, it will look thick and have large bubbles breaking the surface. If you dip a spoon in, it will then pour off in a thick, sticky stream. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the syrup into the egg yolks in a steady stream with the mixer still going. But be careful, pour into the edge of the bowl so it hits the egg mix and not the whisk or it will form a sugary bird’s nest around the whisk attachment! You then need to keep the mixer going for another 10 to 15 minutes until the egg mix becomes a thick mousse.
4 Once it has thickened, put the bowl in the fridge for a good 20 minutes; whip the cream until it reaches a soft peak consistency and then fold it in to the chilled egg mix with the vanilla extract.
4 Pour it into a covered container and freeze. Add other ingredients to flavour the ice-cream before you freeze it - fruit purees to create a ripple effect, crushed honeycomb also makes a lovely addition.