Thursday, 12 July 2018

Blackcurrant and Blackcurrant Leaf Water Ice

It’s the time of year for currants, and, if you grow them, you’ll probably have a freezer full of the things by now!   I’ve made jams aplenty, but prefer this really intensely flavoured and delicious sorbet.   The original recipe was a Claire MacDonald Water Ice, so there's a higher proportion of liquid to fruit than a standard sorbet.   It did not include egg white, but I found that the egg white gives the whole ice a kind of frothy smoothness – so add it if you want to, or leave it out entirely.  Some recipes call for the egg white to be whisked.  The last time I made this, I totally forgot, so added the white while the mixture was in the churn.  It doesn’t seem to make any difference.  

This pudding was my Stour Showstopper - maybe that should be a new category!   Served in an ice bowl, it was one of the pudding highlights of 2018... 

Blackcurrant and Blackcurrant Leaf Water Ice
Blackcurrant and Blackcurrant Leaf Water Ice 

8oz/2250g sugar (use 6oz/175g in the syrup)
1 pint of water
Rind and juice of 2 lemons
Handful of blackcurrant leaves
8oz/225g blackcurrants
1 egg white

First make a sugar syrup with 6oz/175g sugar, lemon rind and water by bringing them to the boil, boiling for 5 minutes.  Take off the heat, add the lemon juice and blackcurrant leaves and then allow it to cool (you can put it in the freezer).   Wash the blackcurrants (don’t bother to top and tail), and put them into a pan with the rest of the sugar and 4tbsp water.  Simmer gently for at least 10 minutes until they are soft – blackcurrants have quite tough skins!  Allow the purée to cool then sieve the blackcurrants to remove the seeds.   

Strain the syrup and mix it together with the currant purée.  Whisk the egg white until it forms soft peaks and fold it into the mixture – this lightens the texture (or if you have an ice cream maker, simply add the egg white in its natural state). 

Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker.   Alternatively, freeze in a shallow container in the freezer, whisking it every couple of hours to stop large crystals from forming.

Remove from the freezer before serving, as any ice cream/sorbet is best slightly softened.  This will make enough for about 6-8 people.