The very successful Christmas pudding ice cream I made for the last two Christmases was actually my second choice, after not being sure whether my initial idea would actually work. However, a quick experiment showed that my fears were unfounded, so this year’s ice cream was the originally planned mince pie flavour.
My main worry was that the mincemeat would freeze solid, so I put a teaspoonful in the freezer for a couple of days to see what would happen. As it turns out, mincemeat is almost completely unaffected by cold temperature, remaining soft and slightly chewy, so that wasn’t going to be a problem. My other slight concern was with the pastry, as I haven’t made any for ages, and after a previous terrible experience with oats, I was a bit worried that it might soak up the cream. I avoided this issue by substituting with shortbread, which I’ve used before in ice cream to good effect.
- 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 55g caster sugar
- 115g plain flour
- 55g ground rice
- heaped tbsp ground mixed spice
- 300ml brandy double cream
- 200g mincemeat
- level tbsp ground mixed spice
- most of the shortbread
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4
- Beat the butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon until soft and light
- Add the sugar, and beat until fluffy
- Sift and mix the flour, rice and spice in a separate bowl, then mix into the butter and sugar mixture until a soft dough forms
- Form the dough into a ball, and roll it with a rolling pin to about a centimetre thickness
- Transfer into a lightly greased baking tray, and bake on the middle shelf for 20-30 minutes
- Cool on a wire rack
I didn’t quite use all of my shortbread in the ice cream, as I didn’t want to overwhelm it. You can afford to eat some of the shortbread before making the ice cream, but it would be better to resist it until afterwards, or you might find there isn’t enough left.
Method, ice cream
- Add the spice to the cream, and whip until thick but not stiff
- Break up the shortbread into small chunks, and mix it and the mincemeat into the cream
- Transfer into suitable container, and freeze for a few hours. It should be soft enough to eat straight out of the freezer, no matter how long you leave it in there
Due to overprovisioning of desserts this Christmas, most of which had relatively short shelf life, I didn’t get to taste my ice cream until last night, despite having made it on Christmas Eve. It was definitely worth wait though, easily on a par with the Christmas pudding ice cream. Now, what should I make next year?