Each and every summer I vow to myself that my ice cream machine will be removed from the back of the cupboard, dusted off and finally made the most of. I envisage whipping up homemade fruity sorbets and churning vanilla seed-heavy custards to my heart’s content. But while machines make such easy work of homemade ice creams with creamy textures, I remain accustomed to the days of having a dinky little freezer that could barely fit a bag of peas, let alone the bowl of my ice cream machine. So for those of you out there that a) don’t boast an ice cream machine b) always forget to leave the bowl to chill overnight or c) don’t have the space required for b), there are plenty of fuss free freezes to get you through the summer without all the gear.
Granite (not a typo, but the plural for granita in Italian) are refreshing, quick and great for experimenting with different flavours. Sharp and citrusy ones work particularly well paired with something creamy like Chantilly cream (I had a great blood orange version at Bocca di Luppo once) or blow torched meringue (like Nuno Mendes’ is doing at The Chiltern Firehouse). Or in the case of my Lemongrass, Lime and Ginger Snow recipe, which I developed for a dinner at the Soho House, coconut panna cotta works a treat alongside this zingy granita.
Lemongrass, Lime and Ginger snow recipe
1 stick lemongrass, bashed
5 cm piece ginger, peeled and sliced
juice of 1 lime
100g caster sugar
1 Bring all the ingredients to the boil in a pan. Boil for 5 minutes.
2 Leave to infuse for 30 minutes while cooling.
3 Once at room temperature, pour into a Tupperware container.
4 Place in the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours.
5 Scrape up with a fork to serve.
Another fast and furiously delicious instant ice cream comes from a base of frozen bananas. Keeping a stash of sliced frozen bananas in the freezer means you always have a frozen base to work with, simply cut them in chunks and place in a tupperware. My Raspberry and Banana Instant Ice Cream is a healthy and speedy twist on traditional ice cream and just as good for breakfast as it is for cooling down at the end of a sticky day.
One of the all time easiest ways of enjoying a cooling home made freeze, is the banana on a stick trick (see My Little French Kitchen for the full recipe). Place the banana on a lollipop stick, freeze for an hour or so and coat with melted dark chocolate. You can then adorn it with cocoa nibs, toasted crushed nuts, freeze dried fruits or praline if you are feeling posh.
Check out my links below for other nifty home made frozen treats:
Try these cute Edible flower ice cubes for an extra pretty Gin and Tonic in the garden.
A delicious gluten free cheesecake from the Green Kitchen Stories blog: Frozen pink cheesecake.