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Scented Geranium Leaf Ice Cream


8 Geranium leaves (use only unsprayed leaves)
125ml milk
375ml whipping/heavy cream (36 per cent fat)
2 egg yolks
100g vanilla sugar
Makes about 500ml


Rinse the geranium leaves in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Put the leaves in a saucepan with the milk and cream and stirring, bring to just below boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave to infuse. Taste after 10 minutes to see if the flavour is strong enough, then strain to remove the leaves.

In a heatproof bowl combine the egg yolks and vanilla sugar and beat until they take on a pale colour and lighter consistency. Now gradually beat in the flavoured milk and cream. The bowl can now be placed over a pan of simmering water, or the custard can be returned to the saucepan which is then put on top of a heat-diffuser mat so that it is not in direct contact with the heat. Only if you have an accurate thermometer and/or you are confident that you will not overheat the custard should you put the saucepan over gentle, direct heat. Stir the custard until it reaches 85°C/185°F, or until it has thickened sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon. As soon as the custard reaches this stage plunge the base of the pan into cold water. On no account should the custard be allowed to overheat or boil as the mixture will curdle. Once cool, the custard can be covered with a circle of lightly buttered greaseproof paper and transferred to the fridge to chill.

When ready, still freeze or start the ice-cream machine. Pour the custard into the machine and churn for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is the consistency of thick cream. Quickly scrape into plastic freezer boxes and cover with a piece of waxed or greasproof paper and a lid.

Finally label, then freeze for a minimum of 1 hour. If frozen solid, allow 20 minutes in the fridge so that the ice cream is soft enough to serve.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Robin Weir from Ices: The Definitive Guide, Publ: Grub Street, 12.99
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