Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Ice Cream that wasn't.

Every now and then something goes unrescuably wrong in the kitchen, and I think I take it harder than most. Cooking is one of the few things I feel competent at, so when things don't turn out the way they are meant to I have to force myself to try and get some perspective and learn from it instead of mulling it over for days. My most recent disaster happened this week. I decided to attempt to make a different flavoured version of Nigella's no-churn pomegranate ice cream, a dessert I have made before and been really pleased with the outcome. I also arguably improved it, with a touch of pomegranate molasses, just to really make to flavour stand out. It seemed perfectly reasonable to assume that because this recipe worked with pomegranate juice that it would work with other fruit juices, namely passionfruit.

I had high hopes for a creamy passion fruit icecream, and was rather disappointed when it came out of the freezer rock-hard. There was no middle point, when I hopefully placed in the fridge, it left me with a runny passionfruit mess. Then I contemplate the various reasons why it didn't work and I blame myself, Nigella Lawson and the Australian dairy industry for not making good cream more readily available*. And perhaps the passionfruit as well. As well as the general feeling of failure, the other kicker is the waste. Time wise, I lost very little as the recipe is so simple. You just whip the cream with the juice, a little icing sugar and freeze. But then there's the ice cream itself, I turned perfectly nice fruit and cream into something inedible. It certainly wasn't the cheapest dish to get wrong.

On the other hand, at least I know now that it doesn't work. There is always something to be gained from mistakes, even if it is a tiny bit of knowledge and material for a blog post.

For a recipe involving cream and passionfruit that does work, I suggest a tropical take on Eton Mess. Softly whip some cream, and sweeten with icing sugar. Fold in crumbled meringue and some ripe passionfruit pulp. You will want the cream sweeter than a regular Eton Mess, as the fruit is so sour. Serve in pretty glass bowls, preferably the sort that requires a long handled sundae spoon.

*In the supermarkets I have only seen whipping cream, and thickened cream, which has gelatine in it. I miss the thick, extra thick, Jersey and clotted varieties that I could buy at home.

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