For the ice cream, heat the milk, cream and half of the thyme leaves in a pan until just boiling. Remove from the heat, cover with cling film and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a bowl until well combined.
Bring the milk and cream mixture back to the boil and strain through a sieve into the egg mixture.
Whisk the custard until well combined, pour into the pan and return to the heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 82C/180F. (Use a digital thermometer to check this.)
Strain the custard through a sieve, whisk in the glycerine and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, strain the custard through a sieve again and churn in an ice cream machine, according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze for 24 hours.
For the jam, heat the gooseberries and water in a pan and simmer until softened. Add the sugar and continue to cook until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the mixture to the boil and cook over a high heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the jam has thickened and the temperature reaches 110C/230F (Use a digital temperature probe to check this.) Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
Once cool, spoon the jam into sterilised jam jars.
For the poached gooseberries, heat the sugar, water, lemon thyme stalks and lemon peel until the boiling and the sugar has dissolved.
Pour the mixture over the gooseberries, cover with cling film and set aside.
For the meringue, preheat the oven to 140C/280F/Gas 1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
Slowly whisk in the sugar, a quarter at a time, until stiff peaks are formed when the whisk is removed; then fold in the cornflour and white wine vinegar.
Transfer the meringue mixture to a piping bag and pipe 1cm/ ½in cones onto the baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 110C/230F/Gas ¼ and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes.
For the sponge, cream the butter and 110g/4oz of the sugar together in a bowl until very soft. Beat in the duck eggs, one at a time, until well combined, then beat in the egg yolks.
Sift the flour and the baking powder together in a bowl, then fold the mixture into the butter and eggs mixture until well combined.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites and remaining 140g/5oz of sugar together in a bowl until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture, then stir in the lemon zest.
To serve, using a cook’s torch, heat the lemon wedges until caramelised.
Spoon a tablespoon of the gooseberry jam into the bottom of 4 x 200ml7¼fl oz jam jars, then spoon 70g/2½oz of the sponge mixture on top. Seal the jars and steam them in a pan of simmering water for one hour. Remove the jars from the pan and set aside to cool slightly.
Spoon a layer of the poached gooseberries on top of the sponge and top with the lemon segments and meringues. Garnish with the remaining lemon thyme leaves.
Spoon the ice cream into four small dishes and serve the jam jars with the ice cream alongside.
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