The first time I dared to make ice-cream was a couple of Christmas ago, when we had to spend the holidays away from home because of work. Our family, unwilling to let us spend Christmas without turrón (Spanish nougat), shipped over one too many bars (Italian mums take the credit, but Spanish ones are as feeders) and by the 8th January, the actual date when Christmas is over in Spain, we still had plenty. Unable to find any places to have turrón ice-cream, I decided to give it a try. The result, without an ice-cream maker, was excellent. Soft still consistent and full of flavour, I couldn't help but wonder if the berries ice-cream would turn out as good. It did. And here you are the recipe.
Homemade raspberry ice-cream
(adapted from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food)
3 egg yolks (optional)
120ml single cream
150gr sugar (divided)
225ml double cream
600gr fresh raspberries
A couple of drops of vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
If you decide to do the variation with the eggs (if you don't have an ice-cream machine the eggs will help), whisk them shortly. Add the single cream and 100 grams sugar to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. It is very important that the mix doesn't boil, so medium heat is best. Stir the mixture to a light cream and when hot add the egg yolks. Keep on stirring until the sugar, eggs and cream mixture thickens and make sure it doesn't boil. When the cream is thick remove from the hob and strain it quickly. Immediately after straining add the double cream, cover the mixture and chill.
While the mixture chills, wash, dry (the drying part is important as raspberries tend to retain loads of water) and hull the raspberries. If you are privileged enough to pick up the raspberries on the day that you are planning to make the ice-cream the flavour will be more intense. As with almost anything, the fresher the fruit is, the better. Purée the raspberries and if you don't want the seeds, strain the purée before adding the 50 grams of sugar. Let it macerate in their own juices. Stir occasionally until the sugar has melted completely.
Once the cream mixture is cold add the raspberries. You can enhance the flavour adding the vanilla and salt.
If you have an ice-cream machine, from this point you can follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you don't, like it's my case, you will spend the next four hours checking your ice-cream to make sure you prevent the hard ice crystals from ruin it. First put your mixture in a durable moderately deep container -stainless steel for example- and after 30 minutes, open the door and check it. You need to stir vigorously the mixture with a spatula or whisker, breaking up any frozen bits and taking special care around the edges which is where the hard ice crystals will be forming first. Return to the freezer and repeat this process 7 or 8 times, stirring while the ice-cream freezes.
The ice-cream will last up to a week in the freezer, but the first 3 days will be the best. If this sounds too much of a hassle, you can always go to El Malaín and have theirs.