Category Archives: Vanilla Pod

Recipe: Perfect Peach Ice-cream

Perfect Peach Ice-cream
Perfect Peach Ice-cream

Ingredients;

1 400g tin of peaches, drained
6 large egg yolks
125g golden castor sugar
400ml milk
300ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out

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Another Soul Food classic, peaches are plentiful in the Deep South so it’s no coincidence that they are used in so many Soul Food recipes. This is a very subtly flavoured ice-cream so can be easily over powered if you partner it with a pie, I find it at it’s best served on it’s own or with some sliced peaches.

There are 2 options regarding the fruit the first is to purée the drained peaches and the second is to purée half and chop the rest into chunks to be added when freezing. I find that adding the peaches as chunks gives a bit more texture but the fruit chunks tend to lose their flavour when they are frozen. So I tend to go with the “purée all the fruit” option, but both work well.

Next put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk them until they are creamy and smooth. Then add the milk, cream and vanilla seeds and whisk them together.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and stir continuously over a low heat until it thickens into custard that coats a spoon when dipped in it. You don’t want the mixture to overheat as the eggs will scramble, so if you have a suitable kitchen thermometer, use it. Ideally you want to keep the mixture between 65C to 70C this gives a margin for error as the eggs will scramble around 75C.

Once the custard has thickened remove it from the heat and pour it into a bowl to allow it to cool.

Now if you have a home ice-cream maker simply add the peaches to the cooled custard, stirring them in well and follow your ice-cream machine’s instructions to freeze the ice-cream.

If you don’t have an ice-cream machine then simply stir the peaches into the mixture and pour it all into a sealable container suitable for use in your freezer and pop it in your freezer. It can take anywhere up to eight hours for the ice-cream to set fully and during this time you will need to stir it every 20-30 minutes while it’s freezing to prevent ice crystals forming.

If you’ve ever put some melted ice-cream back into the freezer you will know exactly why you don’t want the ice crystals forming, basically it makes it frozen flavoured custard rather than ice-cream, but that said an ice-cream maker does not have to be expensive. We pickedup one in a Lidl offer a few years back for around €30 and I saw this similar one available from Amazon. So why not treat yourself, summer is almost here and this does make the process of ice-cream making far easier 😉

Recipe: Sweet Vanilla Pastry Pie Case

Sweet Vanilla Pastry Pie Case
An Empty Sweet Vanilla Pastry Pie Case

Ingredients;

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g icing sugar
125g good quality unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out
1 large egg, beaten
A splash of milk

Makes approx 500g

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This is an all purpose sweet pastry mix for making pies and it is remarkably easy to make.

Start by sieving the flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using your (clean) hands gently work the butter in to the flour and icing sugar mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Next add the milk and egg. Work it together using your hands until you have a ball of dough. Don’t over work it at this point as it will become chewy not crumbly. I’ve also heard that cold hands make better pastry, so if you have warm hands, rinse them under the cold tap as much as you can to cool them before you start to work the dough together.

Sprinkle a little flour onto a clean work surface and place your ball of dough on this, then flatten the ball until it’s about two and a half centimetres thick. Sprinkle some flour over it and then wrap it in cling film and pop it into the fridge to rest for at least thirty minutes.

At this point you can also place the wrapped pastry in a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month.

Next grab a 9 inch cake tin, preferably one with a removable bottom, and grease it lightly using some kitchen roll and vegetable oil.

Once the dough has rested, sprinkle some more flour on to a large work surface and grab a rolling pin. You want to roll the dough out turning it occasionally until it’s about half a centimetre thick.

The best way to get the pastry from your work surface to the cake tin is to roll it gently around the rolling pin and then unroll it over the oiled tin. Carefully ease the pastry into the tin making sure to get it into the corners. Trim off any excess, by running a knife around the top of the tin and then using a fork, prick the base all over. Place the tin and pastry into your freezer for about 30 minutes, while you heat your oven to 180C.

Take some greaseproof paper and scrunch it up, then use this to line the visible surface of your pastry case, making sure to press it into the sides as well. Next, fill it with either ceramic baking beads or plain rice and bake blind for about 10 minutes.

Remove the baking beads (or rice) and the greaseproof paper and bake the pastry case for another 10 minutes until it firms up and gets a bit biscuit like.