Round And Round The Round Pond

The Round Pond in London’s Kens­ing­ton Gar­dens has always been one of my favour­ite places. When I was small my mum used to time me and my sis­ter as we ran round the pond — one clock­wise, the other anti-clockwise. In the autumn, after a cir­cuit of the pond, we’d catch lucky leaves as they fell from the Chest­nut trees. Catch­ing a leaf before it touches the ground brings good luck for a whole year. Really.

After the run fol­lowed by the leaves, there was the ice-cream. I no longer like Fab lol­lies, or even vanilla cones with a chocol­ate flake. But I do love this:

Apple Crumble Ice-Cream

The great thing about this is that it makes two pud­dings — an apple crumble for 6 people, with enough of the crumble left over to make ice-cream for 4

4 large cook­ing apples

Juice of I orange

1 Tea­spoon Chinese 5 spice powder

15 table­spoons caster sugar

180g but­ter

200g plain flour

500ml good qual­ity vanilla ice-cream

Hand­ful of flaked almonds per person

Pre­heat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Place them in an oven-proof dish, coat­ing them in the juice of the orange. Sprinkle over 1 table­spoon of the sugar as well as the 5 spice powder.

Mix together the but­ter, flour and the rest of the sugar — either by hand or with a mixer — and tip the crumble mix over the apples. Put the dish in the fridge for at least 15 minutes — longer if you like, it really doesn’t mat­ter. The point is to chill the crumble before it goes into the oven, so that it doesn’t turn into a soupy mess before it gets the chance to cook.

Bake in the oven for around half an hour or until the crumble is brown and crunchy on top, with signs that the apples are bub­bling up from under­neath. Toast the almonds in a sep­ar­ate dish at the same time and put to one side for eat­ing with the ice-cream.

Eat a lot.

When you can’t eat any more, fold the remain­ing crumble — make sure there is some — into vanilla ice-cream. Put it back into the freezer for 20 minutes or so and then scoop it into glasses and sprinkle with a hand­ful of the flaked almonds you toasted earlier.

This week the sculptor Anish Kapoor — whose work I love as much as I love the Round Pond — installed his work Sky Mir­ror, Red, (2007) in the pond. The huge, scar­let, cir­cu­lar steel mir­ror catches the pond’s myriad reflec­tions that change so dra­mat­ic­ally with the weather and the time of day. Kapoor should be allowed to do any­thing he likes as far as I’m con­cerned. But while he goes large, I’m going to go quietly, hap­pily small. So here is the Round Pond to keep in your pocket.

I snatched these 64 pic­tures before Sky Mir­ror, Red arrived, strolling briskly around the pond’s cir­cum­fer­ence to catch every angle. Cut each one of these pic­tures out, mov­ing across the con­tact sheet from left to right. Keep them in sequence and clip the pages together to make a flick book. Then you too can go round and round the Round Pond to your heart’s con­tent. If you don’t fancy the scissor-work, I’ve made you a slide show — there it is top right — and guess what, you still qual­ify for the ice cream. You get the year’s worth of good luck too.

I always love to hear your com­ments, so do stop by and let me know what you think.