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What’s cooking today: Orange blossom ice cream

What’s cooking today: Orange blossom ice cream
Tony Jackman’s orange blossom ice cream. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Orange blossoms are the prettiest things and their subtle orange scent translates into flavour of equal subtlety and beauty. Let’s make ice cream with them.

The scent of orange blossom permeates the air in my garden right now with the promise of the next season’s harvest. Bees and birds and sundry other winged critters flitter and flutter around them, oblivious of the human watching them go about their tiny, fleeting lives. The fragrant blossoms can be left to do their work next winter, or they can be picked now to be used in the kitchen.

Let’s scent the air and our lives with this prettiest and most fragrant of garden delights, by making orange blossom ice cream. 

Ingredients

6 egg yolks

½ cup castor sugar or artificial sweetener suitable for baking

¼ cup orange blossom syrup

310 ml (a cup and a quarter) full cream milk

430 ml (a cup and three quarters) cream

¼ tsp salt

For the orange blossom syrup:

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

The petals of 10 to 12 orange blossoms

Method

For the orange blossom syrup, combine the water and sugar in a pot, add the orange blossom petals and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce by half, or more, but be sure to have a quarter cup left. You only need a quarter cup of it for the ice cream but it’s best to make more than you need rather than risk overboiling and not having enough. Leave it to cool to room temperature. Remove the orange petals.

Beat yolks with ½ cup castor sugar until creamed and pale. Set aside.

Put the cream, milk, ¼ cup of orange blossom syrup and salt in a pot on a low heat and simmer while stirring until incorporated. It must not boil.

Pour this in a thin stream into the bowl with the creamed eggs and sugar, very slowly to begin with, stirring continuously.

Return it to the pot and stir on a low heat until it thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil.

Leave it to cool to room temperature. Pour into a metal container and freeze. Serve it garnished with fresh orange blossoms. DM

This recipe is best served with this column.

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