Hot Cold Wasabi Ice Cream for Anne of Green Gables

The won­der­ment with which Anne of Green Gables ima­gines what ice cream might taste like has always made me feel slightly guilty.…

I don’t feel that I could endure the dis­ap­point­ment if any­thing happened to pre­vent me from get­ting to the pic­nic. I sup­pose I’d live through it, but I’m cer­tain it would be a lifelong sor­row. It wouldn’t mat­ter if I got to a hun­dred pic­nics in after years; they wouldn’t make up for miss­ing this one. They’re going to have boats on the Lake of Shin­ing Waters—and ice cream, as I told you. I have never tasted ice cream. Diana tried to explain what it was like, but I guess ice cream is one of those things that are bey­ond imagination.

We lost our sense of won­der about the majesty of ice cream a long time ago. The glor­i­ous alchem­ical effect of com­bin­ing eggs, cream and a deep-freeze has become as routine as a walk to the bus stop. Which is why I was so pleased to be sent Ben Vear’s new ice cream book, Make Your Own Organic Ice Cream, pub­lished by Spring Hill.

I tasted Ben’s ice cream at a won­der­ful lunch to cel­eb­rate the online food magazine The Foodie Bugle. After the exquis­ite feast cooked by the Bugle’s founder Sil­vana de Sois­sons, we ate ice cream made by Win­stones Ice Cream, the busi­ness cre­ated by Ben’s great grand­father Albert Win­stone in 1925. Albert used to drive around the Cots­wolds on his motor­bike, selling home-made ice cream from the sidecar.

Ben’s book is simple, charm­ing and invent­ive. It’s not a hugely elab­or­ate affair crammed with lav­ish pho­to­graphs, but an hon­est and above all inspir­ing paean to the mar­vels of ice cream. I’ve already made his recipe for cof­fee and cream, a rich, aro­matic cre­ation with crushed cof­fee beans, and I’m plan­ning to make mulled wine ice cream next. But this morn­ing I made Ben’s was­abi ice cream. Was­abi is also known as Japan­ese horseradish. It is, of course, fero­ciously hot which, much to my sat­is­fac­tion, makes this a hot cold ice cream.

BEN VEAR’S WASABI ICE CREAM

  • 250ml organic double cream
  • 200ml organic full-fat milk
  • 150g Fairtrade caster sugar
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 50g was­abi paste, also known as Japan­ese horseradish (adjust to taste)

Pour the cream and milk into a sauce­pan. Tip in half of the sugar and place over a low heat, stir­ring at reg­u­lar inter­vals and not allow­ing the mix­ture to boil.

Whisk the egg yolk and the remain­ing sugar in a mix­ing bowl, beat­ing with an elec­tric whisk for about 2 minutes, or until the mix­ture has become a smooth, pale paste.

Com­bine both mix­tures and return the pan to a low heat. Cook, stir­ring all the time, for approx­im­ately 10 minutes, until the mix­ture has a thick, custard-like con­sist­ency. Add the was­abi paste and con­tinue to stir.

Set aside to cool, then pour into your ice cream maker, fol­low the manufacturer’s instruc­tions and leave to churn. (Altern­at­ively, pour the mix­ture into a freezer-proof con­tainer, seal it firmly with a lid and place in the freezer. Whisk after 1 hour to pre­vent ice crys­tals from form­ing; repeat 3 times before leav­ing it to set.)

Ben sug­gests serving was­abi ice cream with chicken, red meat or game. But I com­bined this eleg­ant eau de nil-coloured cre­ation with hot-smoked trout, rocket leaves dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and red onion pickles. Make sure that you add plenty of lemon juice and zest when you dress the leaves, to coun­ter­bal­ance the slight sweet­ness of the ice cream. The astrin­gency of the red onion pickles adds an extra bal­ance to the dish too.

I sus­pect the nose-twanging prop­er­ties of was­abi ice cream would have been sev­eral steps too far for Anne of Green Gables. But she would have approved of my face when I ate it, because my expres­sion was as full of won­der as hers.

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20 thoughts on “Hot Cold Wasabi Ice Cream for Anne of Green Gables

  1. Gosh, I had not remembered that pas­sage from Anne of Green Gables, how very charm­ing it is. And a lovely intro­duc­tion for your post. Really lovely to re-read it now.

  2. I’ve always loved Anne of Green Gables, Kavey. She was vali­ant but full of fun. I often think of her when eat­ing ice cream…

  3. Your words are so magical and weave such a tale that I want to buy the book now! The cof­fee and cream ice cream sounds so divine and the was­abi and the mulled wine both are so intriguing one would have to try them both! I am fas­cin­ated by “savory” ice creams meant to be served as part of a meal. Fab­ulous, as always.

  4. Thanks, as ever, Jamie. I’m intrigued by savoury ice creams too — they’re so coun­ter­in­tu­it­ive as to be fascinating.

  5. We love was­abi, I must give this a try.
    And thanks for the reminder of Anne, I read them all as a tiny and for a while my whole aim in life was to be her and marry someone called Gilbert

  6. My favour­ite pas­sage from Anne of Green Gables is where she begs for­give­ness of Mrs Lind. Love Anne, love Was­abi but not a big fan of icecream or hot and cold together. I’ll leave this one at the ‘admire with your eyes’ stage.

  7. This sounds abso­lutely amaz­ing! I love the hot hit of was­abi and can’t quite ima­gine how it would taste in ice cream…the only thing for it is to make this asap :-) Fascinating.

  8. I love that part too, Sally. When I was a child there was a Sunday after­noon tv adapt­a­tion of the novel — it was the high­light of my week.

  9. Hello thelittle­l­oaf — do let me know if you try it. Savoury ice-creams are so sur­pris­ing, even puzz­ling at times. And yet we eat ice-cold gazpacho without a second thought.

  10. I made savoury cones out of tor­tilla wraps — I dampened them with water, dus­ted them with a little paprika and salt then rolled them into cones and baked them in a hot oven for a few minutes. They were great with the gazpacho savoury sorbet I made. Was­abi icecream’s been on my to do list for a little while — I was going to serve it with tuna tartare. Glad you enjoyed your savoury icecream too!

  11. That sounds so deli­cious, Anwen. I adore gazpacho and will def­in­itely try it as a sorbet. I hope you enjoy the wasabi..

  12. Was referred over here by a com­ment on my blog: it seems we share a love for books and lit­er­at­ure. Oh, and was­abi. :) Great post! I love the idea of was­abi and ice cream… the idea of ice cream and fish, I’m still grap­pling with!

  13. Hi Laura Thanks so much for your com­ment. It’s funny that you find ice cream and fish odder than ice cream and was­abi. Other people have said it’s the other way round. Per­haps they’re both odd!

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