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Countdown to summer: Ice cream inspiration

One of the nicest things about summer is that we can start eating ice cream again. Of course, ice cream pops up at dinner parties all year round, but summer’s when it really comes into its own. We particularly love homemade ice cream, made with fresh summer berries, served in a posh glass for dinner or in a retro cone for an afternoon treat.

Here’s our favourite quick strawberry ice cream recipe, which doesn’t even need an ice cream maker. It’s ideally eaten fairly quickly after being made, say within a week, as otherwise ice crystals will form in the mixture – that’s our excuse, anyway.

You’ll need:

  • 500g fresh strawberries
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 75g clotted cream
  • 75ml whipping cream
  • a large freezer proof bowl, preferably with a lid

What to do:

  1. Wash the strawberries, remove the stalks and hulls and cut them into quarters. Cover a baking tray with clingfilm, spread the pieces out evenly and open freeze the tray until the strawberries are solid. 
  2. Put the frozen strawberry pieces into a food processor, add the icing sugar and clotted cream and pulse for a few seconds.
  3. With the food processor still running, carefully pour in the whipping cream and blend until completely smooth.
  4. Pour into the container and freeze until set. Just before serving, remove from freezer for 15 – 20 minutes to soften.
Try using raspberries, blueberries, blackcurrants or a mixture of summer berries as well as or instead of strawberries. The different water contents of these berries may affect the consistency and freezing time, so experiment until you find a blend you’re happy with.

If you need some extra icy inspiration, how about these ice cream accessories?

Maribowl glass dish, Iittala

This beautiful dish from Finnish company Iittala comes in a range of colours and sizes, and is the perfect choice to show case your homemade ice cream at a dinner party. Prices start from £18, available from Cloudberry Living.

Ice cream tubs and spoons, the Oak Room

Who could possibly resist these little paper tubs (remember those?) and wooden spoons, all presented in an ice cream van box? Perfect for children’s parties, we also think they’d add a bit of retro fun to an adult picnic or barbecue. £7 for the set from The Oak Room.

Wooden spoons, Peach Blossom

Far nicer than disposable plastic cutlery are these wooden spoons from Peach Blossom. Made from sturdy birchwood, they come plain but can be wrapped in tape or painted to suit your party theme. £4 for a pack of 20 spoons or teaspoons, available from Peach Blossom.

Ice cream scoop, Katie Alice

This sturdy ice cream scoop is designed in the UK, made from stainless steel and is dishwasher safe. For added ease of use, heat it by running boiling water over the scoop before serving the ice cream. £4.99, available from Creative Tops.

Contemporary ice cream dish, Iapetus

This eye-catching, chunky, modern glass dish will add a sophisticated touch to an evening meal with its colour swirl design. It comes in black, lime or blue and is priced at £16.95 from Iapetus.

Ice cream sundae dish, Creative Tops

Next time you’re on your own in the house on a hot summer’s afternoon, treat yourself to a proper old-fashioned ice cream sundae. You’ll need a tall sundae dish, such as this 50s inspired version, £6.99 from Creative Tops, and a long spoon. Layer vanilla ice cream, strawberries, strawberry ice cream and chocolate sauce, and finish off with a dollop of cream, a sprinkling of nuts and a strawberry. Accessorise with a deck chair and a floppy sun hat.

 

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