Welcome to my blog all about the things I love to grow and cook. You'll find a collection of seasonal gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly recipe posts, as well as a round up of my gardening throughout the year. I wish you good reading, happy cooking and perfect planting!
I am very much hoping that by publishing this week’s recipe, the weather will become more appropriate for enjoying an icy dessert. It’s been much cooler here these past few days, but the forecast is hotting up again so hopefully my post will be quite timely.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of frozen desserts, but when the heat is on, I can be persuaded by a scoop or two of a good non-dairy ice. I’ve been trying to perfect a recipe of my own for a while, and at last, I think I’ve cracked it.
My recipe is a combination of a thick vegan cream I made a posted a few weeks ago and an uncooked aquafaba meringue mixture. Once the two are combined, the resulting mixture doesn’t require any stirring, you just pop it in the freezer for a few hours until frozen. Easy-peasy.
To flavour the ice cream, I added some freeze-dried fruit pieces and a little soft-set blueberry jam I’d made. If you want to experiment with other flavours, I would suggest using dry ingredients like chocolate chips, crushed caramel, small pieces of dried fruit, cocoa powder, etc. Adding anything too sloppy or saucy will water down the mixture; you will lose air, and the resulting ice cream will be solid and icy, rather than soft and creamy.
The recipe below makes a small quantity (around 350g) which is enough for 2-3 servings. I have a cute little ice cream scoop which dishes up a perfect 30g scoop. This is just right for me, and is why my bowl is piled high with scoops! You may want to double the quantities in the recipe for more hearty portions.
Serves: 2 to 3
For the cream:
100ml readymade soya pouring cream
40g solid white vegetable fat such as Trex or flavourless coconut oil (or use traditional coconut oil for a coconut flavoured ice cream)
¼ tsp xanthan gum
A few drops vanilla extract or a pinch of salt
For the meringue:
75ml canning liquid from beans or chickpeas (aquafaba)
¼ tsp cream of tartar
60g caster sugar
¼ tsp xanthan gum
A few drops vanilla extract if liked
5g freeze-dried fruit pieces
25g soft-set jam
First make the cream. Pour the soya cream into a small heatproof bowl and add the fat. Place on top of a small saucepan of barely simmering water and leave to melt, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat, mix well, then stir in the xanthan gum until completely blended. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally. The mixture thickens on cooling.
When cold, have a taste and see if you like the flavour as it is. Otherwise add a few drops of vanilla extract or you might prefer a pinch of salt. Whisk for about a minute with an electric whisk, then cover and chill the cream for at least 2 hours. After this time, the cream should be the consistency of thick, spoonable yogurt. It will keep covered in the fridge for up to a week.
When the cream is thick and chilled, make the meringue. Pour the aquafaba into a large clean bowl, add the cream of tartar and whisk for a full 2 minutes.
Whisk in the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well in between additions, and then continue whisking for another full minute.
Add the xanthan gum and whisk for 1 more minute to make a thick meringue.
Gently and gradually mix the meringue into the cream taking care not to lose too much air, then gently stir in more vanilla if liked along with the berries. Lightly stir in the jam to give a rippled effect.
Scrape into a freezer container, seal and freeze for 3-4 hours until solid.
To serve, stand the ice cream at room temperature for about 10 minutes until soft enough to scoop. I served my ice cream with a fresh strawberry sauce made from purée’d fruit sweetened with a little icing sugar, and a scattering of wild strawberries which I happened upon in the garden 🙂
Until next time, I hope you have a good few days and may the warm weather be with us all.
Hello again. I hope you are well and enjoying some fine weather. It’s been a busy few days since my last post. The garden is thriving thanks to a mixture of sunshine and showers. There’s lots to do, and at last the soft fruit is ripe. I picked these cherries from the small espalier tree in the garden today. Just under 800g. Not bad at all 🙂
The raspberries have been coming thick and fast since my last post too, and there are still lots more to come. As well as the cherries and berries, my runner beans and potatoes are coming along nicely.
In the flower borders, there is a predominance of yellow interspersed with shades of pink and lilac. The lavender season is in full swing here at the moment. I love the yellow cotton lavender with its silvery foliage which grows alongside the purple and lilac varieties. This is a very fragrant part of the garden.
The palest coloured lavender is at the front of the house. It is full of blooms this year and the bees love it. This pale pink Campanula has just come out this past week. It was new in the garden last year and I am very pleased to see that it is blooming again and seems to have doubled in size.
More splashes of vibrant colour from the Lysimachia which has run a bit wild down one border but it does provide colour for several weeks; and the delightfully named “Banana Cream” Leusanthemum which sounds good enough to eat!
Happy to see so many bees in the garden again this year. My recent gardening activity has been accompanied by the sound of gentle buzzing; they are always busy gathering pollen and enjoying the summer flowers no matter which part of the garden I am in.
As well as the bees, the garden attracts many feathered friends too. Blackbirds and robins are by far the friendliest and really do seem to make themselves at home in amongst the plants and flowers.
That’s it from me this week. I hope you enjoyed the post and pictures. I will be back in the kitchen before the end of the month. See you then. Best wishes and take care 🙂
Hello again. I hope this post finds you keeping well and enjoying some good weather. It’s been a mixed bag here since my last post. Quite a lot of rain, some strong winds and some sunshine in between. Apart from the wind which no plant likes, the combination of rain and sunshine has been perfect for the ripening of the raspberries in the garden.
This past week, quite randomly, one or two berries have turned red almost overnight. I have been able to harvest a handful so far, which, believe it or not, is more than you need for my recipe this week.
This very simple recipe for fruit-flavoured sugar can be made with strawberries if you have them and makes a pretty sprinkle over fruit desserts or as a cake or cookie decoration. It doesn’t take long to make but if you want to store the sugar for a while, you need to leave the sugar to dry out for a few hours before putting it into a storage container. If the flavour of rose isn’t to your taste, leave it out of the mix altogether, or add some finely grated orange rind or vanilla seeds instead. Here’s what you do……
Approx. 25g fresh raspberries
A few drops rosewater
200g granulated sugar
Wash and pat dry the raspberries. Push through a small sieve to remove the seeds and make a purée – you need 1 tbsp of sieved raspberry purée.
Add a few drops of rosewater to taste.
Put the sugar in a bowl and mix in the raspberry purée until well blended. The sugar can be used immediately but will be too soft and damp for long-term storage.
Spread the sugar evenly on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a board, then cover with another sheet of paper and leave in a dry, warm place for a few hours (or overnight) until dry and crisp.
Transfer the sugar to a clean plastic bag – it will dry in clumps. Twist the bag closed and and crush with a rolling pin to break up the clumps of sugar crystals.
Spoon into clean jam jars and seal well. Store in a cool, dry place, away from the light for up to 6 to 8 weeks.
I am looking forward to a good crop of raspberries this year, the bushes look full of berries. I netted the bushes today – I want to make sure I get to them before the birds do! Until next time, I hope you have a good few days and that you are able to enjoy eating fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables 🙂