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Whiskey and Sherry ice cream

6th Dec 2023

Yes it sound bonkers but hear me out, whiskey and sherry ice-cream is one of life's quirky pleasures. It was my great grandmother who thought of it during the 1st world war when brandy was scarce. Christmas without brandy butter was unthinkable, to avoid mutiny she faked it using whiskey and sherry and inadvertently created a dish that's been on our family table ever since. Until recently that is, the butter's too rich for us. Too many pangs of disloyalty guilt and I couldn't kill off a family tradition so like my great grandmother I set about faking it. Here's the result and it's great with mince pies and Christmas pud it's also great on its own with a few crushed amaretti biscuits.

Makes about 1 L
500 ml double cream
250 ml milk
150 grams castor sugar
5 egg yolks
tablespoon cornflour
tablespoon vanilla essence
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons whiskey
2 tablespoons pale sweet sherry

Place the sugar, egg yolks, cornflower, salt and vanilla essence into a mixing bowl and whisk together until the mixture is pale and creamy. Meanwhile place the double cream and the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring slowly to a slow boil stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking on the bottom. Once the milk comes to the boil pour it slowly over the egg mixture whisking as you go to make a custard, when all the milk is mixed into the egg return the custard to the saucepan. Slowly bring the custard to a fast simmer stirring frequently to prevent it burning, the custard will thicken and once it reaches the point where it coats the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. When the custard is cold, add the whiskey and sherry then mix until everything is well combined. Cover the custard with damp and parchment paper and place in the fridge overnight to chill thoroughly.

If you're using an ice cream maker churn the custard according to the manufacturer's instructions until it's well frozen, tip ice cream into a freezer proof container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours although it's better overnight.

If you don't have an ice cream maker place custard into a freezer proof container and freeze for two hours after two hours tip the custard into a mixing bowl and working quickly whisk well to break up any ice crystals. Return the ice cream to the freezer container and place back in the freezer for a further two hours. Repeat this process every two hours until you have a thick creamy ice cream then leave the ice cream to finish freezing overnight.