Stewed Blueberries with Bay Custard and Gin

This is a pretty wicked Summer dessert, definitely for hot Summer days. The beauty of it is that the custard and blueberries can be prepared ahead of time – eg the day before – and then it takes but a few minutes for the dessert to come together.

As the title suggests, blueberries, slightly stewed, are served with icecream, a bay-flavoured custard, and savoiardi biscuits soaked in gin, rosewater and blueberry syrup. It sounds amazing, right? And it is (the gin-soaked biscuits are out of this world), but the title belies the ease with which this dish is created. Best to note that it is an adult dessert only!

Of course, it is an Ottolenghi dessert, from his book Plenty More which we are trying to cook all the way through. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit our preferences and what is available from our garden, fridge and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column. In the recipe below we have substituted a custard made with custard powder for the egg-based one, as we don’t cook with eggs. It sounds horrific, I know, but I assure you it tastes just as good. Feel free to use your favourite method.

Also, blackberries are originally used by Ottolenghi but they are notoriously difficult to find here, so we have used blueberries. It might be Ok to use frozen blackberries – but warm them through with the sugar rather than cook them.

Similar recipes include Strawberry and Black Pepper Icecream, Poached Oranges with Vanilla Ricotta, and Sweet Rhubarb with Cloves and Black Pepper.

Browse all of our Blueberry recipes and all of our Desserts. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Strawberry and Black Pepper Icecream | Eggless | Egg Free

Long before I came vegetarian I loved to make icecream. I was pretty famous in our little group for my vanilla icecream, and an orange and cardamom icecream. I loved to make them in Summer. Then I became vegetarian and my take on vegetarianism does not include eggs. So I stopped making icecream. I could have continued to make sorbets, which we all love too, and shift over to eggless icecreams, but I didn’t have the heart. I was so attached to the icecreams that I used to make and how much my friends loved them.

Today (as I write this) for the first time in all those years, the icecream machine has come out of the cupboard again, and the blender has whizzed some strawberries into submission, to make what must be the best icecream I have made in decades! Hahaha.

Similar recipes include Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cream, Creme Fraiche Icecream, Strawberry Frappe, Strawberries with Lemon, Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil, and Strawberry Jam.

Browse all of our Icecreams, all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Creme Fraiche Icecream | Egg Free

I once did an icecream making course with a renown chef in Adelaide, Mary Ziukelis, who specialised in icecreams and sorbets in her restaurant Neddy’s. This was a ground-breaking restaurant in Adelaide in the 1970’s and ’80’s, opened by Cheong Liew and Mary. It changed hands several times over the years, but was always ahead of its time. Some people will remember the restaurant and the female chef with an icecream obsession. Mary had some great tips, like always use glucose syrup, not (just) sugar. Truly, it makes a difference. Let me know if you remember the chef with a passion for icecream at Neddy’s Restaurant. She was brilliant.

This is an icecream recipe I have had for years, and it might be one of hers. It is quite divine. My note on the recipe reads Just make, eat and die. I think that sums it up. It is not as overwhelmingly hard when it freezes, as many egg-free icecreams can be.

You won’t find yourself eating large serves of this icecream – a couple of large spoonfuls is usually enough at a time. This is probably a good thing once you consider the amount of sugar that is used in icecreams! But in a heatwave you will find yourself having some with each meal. The tang of the lemon against the smoothness of the cheese is divinely wonderful.

If you are extra keen you can even make your own Creme Fraiche to use in the icecream.

Similar recipes include Strawberry and Black Pepper Icecream, Roasted Plum Icecream, and Strawberry Frappe.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

Browse all of our icecreams, or browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Roasted Plum Icecream

Years ago we used to have home made icecream all the time in Summer, but since our house became vegetarian, we haven’t been able to get our heads around making icecream without an egg based custard. So our making and eating of icecream diminished considerably. Shop bought icecream never tasted good – too fatty rather than creamy – and we assumed that home made without a custard base would be icy.

Well, it is different. There, I have said it. But it is also good. It is more like creamy-ice rather than ice-cream. But if you make the flavours intense, it is wonderful. Our strawberry icecream seemed to improve with time, rather than be depleted by it, as most icecream instructions will tell you. But I do have to say that it does always taste best on the day that it is made.

It is Plum season here and our friend has a huge tree. We have been roasting them a lot (we adore roasted summer fruits). Today we took a dozen roasted plums and made icecream. Delicious. I will say that this icecream can be a little hard (common with this eggless icecream), so take it out of the freezer in plenty of time, so it can soften enough to serve.

Similar recipes include Strawberry and Black Pepper Icecream, Creme Fraiche Icecream, Strawberry Icecream with Black Pepper and Poached Oranges with Vanilla Ricotta.

Browse all of our Icecream recipes and our Desserts. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Strawberry or Raspberry Sorbet

I fell in love with making ices after living and working in France. This one is wonderful. Enjoy it!

It’s interesting that strawberries in late Feb through March are quite delicious if you look around for the right ones. I love sorbet. Give me sorbet any day over icecream or gelatti.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Icecream recipes. Or you might like to browse Strawberry recipes here.

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Charles’ Coffee, Whisky and Icecream Dessert

I met a whole heap of people during my time managing the old Food Matters site. Charles from Melbourne was one of those, and we corresponded regularly. This is one of the recipes he sent to me. You might like to update your choice of icecream and whiskey brands now! 🙂 Make your own icecream if you can.

I found the recipe when I was trawling through some printouts of emails sent to me by my loyal gang of readers. I am pretty sure it was from Charles in Melbourne, a real coffee freak. It is the best.

In those days, still a bad speller, I often mixed up Deserts and Desserts. This recipe was originally named Charles’ Coffee and Icecream Desert. 🤣🤣🤣

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Strawberry Frappe

Refreshingly cool in hot weather

Would you believe, I first made this in December, 1998? Some recipes never date. And today I sit here, in 44C heat, without power or air-conditioning except for one power point. The electrician can’t come tonight. I need to have something to cool me down, and give me some sustenance. I can’t cook without electricity. I can’t eat – too hot. This cooling drink comes to mind.

The truth is, I love cooking things that I was making almost a decade ago. For a person who loves to experiment, loves to learn new things, it brings a sense of solidity, continuity, the expected, the sameness, the timelessness of life. Food fashions may have changed, we may have new ingredients, new cuisines, new tools and implements to explore. But the timelessness of some food is priceless.

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