I first discovered brown bread ice-cream in an old copy of Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery, and as an avid maker of simple ice-cream and brown bread, decided to combine my two recipes. You don’t need an ice-cream maker for this one, I don’t own one. If you have an electric whisk or cake mixer, it will come in handy, but you can make this without – you just need a little patience and a firm hand.
Makes around 8 portions at 24p each. Prices based on Sainsburys, Basics where available, and correct at time of writing.
100g wholemeal or brown bread, 5p (40p/800g loaf, Basics)
200ml milk, 9p (44p/litre)
3 egg yolks, 56p (£2.30/12 eggs, free range)
100g sugar, 8p (80p/kg, Fairtrade)
300ml double cream, £1 (£1/300ml)
A fistful of sultanas, 10p (£1/400g, Basics)
For the topping:
2 tsp breadcrumbs
1 tsp sugar, <1p (80p/1kg, Fairtrade)
Few pinches ground cinnamon, <1p (80p/100g, Natco)
Soak your bread in a little milk and stand to one side for an hour or so.
Separate your eggs – I pour my whites into a jar and use them for meringues, egg-white omelettes and egg-fried rice – and beat the yolks in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy.
Add the sugar and beat well. Pour in the cream and whisk until the mixture has almost doubled in size. Run a finger through: it should feel airy, light and fluffy, and not fall off your finger. A common mistake is to beat too hard, knocking the air out of it as quickly as you beat it in – you want a firm and rhythmic hand, but not too much vigour. It should stand in soft peaks when you lift your whisk out. If you scrimp on this step, your ice-cream will set rock hard, and while it won’t be unpleasant, it will be that bit more difficult to eat.
Drain the milk from the brown bread, give it a gentle squeeze and tear it into small pieces. Fold it through the whipped cream mixture with the sultanas.
Pour it into a loaf tin or plastic container. Mix together the breadcrumbs, sugar and cinnamon and scatter over the top (if you forget this stage, you can do it just before serving).
Seal the container with a lid or clingfilm, and freeze for at least four hours, or overnight.
Remove from the freezer five minutes before serving, to allow it to soften a little.
Footnote: This recipe first appeared in the Guardian in March 2015. I haven’t worked out a vegan version yet, but when I do, I’ll post it here too. Photograph by Sarah Lee.
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