I know we have not had much sun this summer but, for me, ice cream is a treat to be enjoyed all year round. As a child my mum moaned about the ice cream van coming around in the rain, " why would people want to buy ice cream when it's this cold? " she would say, the answer would always be " but I want one ". Whilst my taste for ice cream may have matured with the cheap Mr Whippy not washing with me anymore, it is still fun to eat ice cream on a blowy walk down the beach of a Sunday afternoon. It always surprises me that there are not that many ice cream parlours about but not to worry as it is always fun to make your own and experiment with flavours. My recent rhubarb, strawberry and anise sorbet went down a treat, the subtleness of the anise added a nice twist to a straightforward recipe. I wanted to try another ice cream made with anise and seeing as though the garden blackcurrants were ready to pick I decided on a retro sweet classic; blackcurrant and liquorice. I was really pleased with the results and I think I got the taste I wanted but you could always replace the anise with liquorice essence.
4 Star Anise
100g caster sugar
250ml double cream
50ml milk ( I used semi as had no whole)
1. Place the blackcurrants in a saucepan along with the water and anise and cook for around 10-15 minutes or until skin has softened. Add in the sugar and keep on heat for a further 5 minutes, so the sugar fully dissolves and mixes with your juice. Be careful not to heat for too long as you do not want to create a jam like mixture.
2. Allow the blackcurrant mixture to cool then pass through a sieve to remove all bits ( save the anise flowers to put back in once mixed with other ingredients) Allow to cool then mix in the milk and cream.
3. Cover your cream mixture and keep on the fridge overnight or at least 2 hours if you are in a hurry.
4. Remove the anise and then follow instructions for your ice cream maker and churn away . This is great served simply with a handful of fresh blackcurrants.