What with the New Year’s bank holiday out of the way, it feels like the Christmas period is well and truly over.
What a very sad time it is, when the days of legitimate Hoggery are finally at an end.
There are plenty of things I’ll miss from the festivities: Ma Hog’s homemade Mince Pies; steaming glasses of Hot Buttered Rum; the crunchy chew of a light-toasted Pudding; pots of cold Custard, lining the worktop.
It pains me to think that I won’t see most of these goodies again until next December, though I suppose that’s partly what makes them so special.
Then again, there are some treats I’m not sure can wait…
One of this Christmas’s more major (and moreish) highlights was a bowl of Christmas Pudding Ice Cream, made by the fair hands of Man-Pa (he of Summer Pudding fame).
The die-hard Ogglers among you will remember me mentioning this particular treat way back in 2011. In fact, you could argue it was what got the Pud-Hog Blog going in the first place: so enamoured was I with this Ice Cream, that I felt compelled to tell the world about it.
Anyway, just a fortnight ago, I was thrilled to be served it again – and this time it tasted even better.
Apparently the formula had changed: out had gone the Breadcrumbs, to be replaced by Meringue and luxury jellied Fruit Pastilles, of the type you can find in the fancier delicatessens.
The resulting taste and texture were extraordinary: sharp bursts of sugared Fruit; boozy Raisins, Dates and Peel; crunchy fragments of Meringue, and the softest, creamiest base you could wish for.
My delight secured me the recipe – so, thanks to the Man-Pa, you too can enjoy this magnificent medley at home.
It’s easy and fairly quick – and, I swear, yule never have better.
I defy you to wait until next December…
Man-Pa’s Christmas Pudding Ice Cream (serves 4)
- 80g raisins and/or sultanas
- 80g dates
- 80g candied peel
- Some brandy or rum to soak the fruit
- Finely-chopped fruit pastilles (preferably upmarket ones; gelatin-free)
… and for the Ice Cream:
- A few nutmeg shavings
- Generous half tsp ground ginger
- 1 to 2 tsp vanilla essence (depending on your tastes)
- 1 tsp coffee essence (make your own with half a tsp instant coffee granules and same amount of boiling water)
- 2 cinnamon sticks OR 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
- 2-4 cloves (again, your taste dictates)
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 medium/large crushed meringue
- Mix the Fruit Stuff together and set to soak in the brandy or rum
- Heat ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon in a small saucepan for a few minutes…
- Then in with the cream, vanilla essence and coffee essence. Bring gently to the boil
- Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a medium-sized bowl
- Strain the cream to remove the spices. Tip cream into the sugar and egg mix and whisk together before heating again – slowly – in a clean pan for no more than 10 minutes until it thickens slightly
- Take off the heat and chill for at least 2 hours (or overnight, if you have the time)
- Strain the cream mix into a freezable container and freeze for an hour or two until it starts to thicken. Stir every half hour to break up the ice crystals (NB: clingfilm on top of the ice cream will prevent it turning brown if it’s going to be in the freezer for a week or more)
- Defrost for about half an hour before serving so it’s nice and soft to eat
Happy Hogging – and thank you to Man-Pa for sharing!