As I was spending this Christmas in the tropical (if somewhat smoggy) city of Jakarta, traditional Christmas desserts where no really on the cards this year. No one really fancies a hot steamed pudding with custard or even heavy fruit cake when it is thirty five degrees outside.
It was a toss up between ice cream and cheesecake…and the result, cheesecake ice cream of course! Berry coulis was to be the original accompaniment, but was replaced with Berry Tarts at the request of my sister, who had had an amazing berry tart in San Fransisco and wanted to repeat the experience.
I used a modified recipe from my favourite site for all things ice cream, Ice Cream Ireland, as I have 100% success rate with their recipes and they are easily modified to whatever ingredients you happen to have in the pantry. The original recipe as for Goats cheese Ice Cream (which I will be trying at a later date), but I substituted the goats cheese for cream cheese and sour cream in this case. I also added biscuit base pieces throughout the ice cream as I am a firm believer in the crunch factor in an ice cream. I used a simple churning home ice cream maker and the result was a smooth, rich, cheesy ice cream with crunchy biscuit pieces which balanced the tart berries nicely.
For the tarts I used Dan Lepards Sweet Shortcrust recipe, but found this disappointing. The pastry turned out thick and difficult to handle, although whether the recipe of the cook was at fault for this remains to be seen! The heat and humidity probably didn’t help either. The pastry did have a nice level of sweetness though in comparison with other recipes which tended to have copious quantities of icing sugar. Further experimentation needed to find my go to sweet pastry recipe.
The tarts were filled with a berry coulis, made from a variety of fresh berries, sugar and water and then cooked to thicken.
Cheesecake Ice Cream (adapted from Ice Cream Irelands’ Goats Cheese Ice Cream)
- 130g sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 120ml cream
- 120ml sour cream
- • 200 ml milk
- 150 gm cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar and beat until thick.
2. Bring the milk to a low simmer .
3. Beat the milk into the egg/sugar mixture in a slow stream.
4. Pour the mixture back into the pan and place over low heat.
5. Stir continuously until the custard thickens slightly (around 65-70C) and just coats the back of a spoon. Don’t over-heat, though, because at around 76C you will scramble the eggs!
6. Immediately remove from the heat.
7. Allow to cool, then mix in the vanilla and cheese and sour cream, using a blender or processor just until smooth.
8. Whip the cream until it has doubled in volume (soft peaks)
10. Fold in the custard.
11. Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, or cover and place in the freezer.
12. If you’re using a domestic ice cream machine, transfer to a freezer-proof covered container when the ice cream has achieved a semi-solid consistency (around 15 minutes).
13. Fold in Biscuit crumbs (see recipe below)
Place it in the freezer, and continue to freeze until it is solid.
makes 8 servings
For Biscuit Base crumbs
- 10 digestive biscuits
- 1 1/2 Tbsp butter (melted)
Crush Biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or in a food processor until fine. Stir in melted butter and press into a cake tin (as if you were making a cheesecake base). Cook in oven at 180 degrees for 10 mins, then chill until firm in fridge. Break into pieces of desired size.
Berry Tarts Recipe
- 250g mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- water to just over berries in pan.
Sweet Shortcrust pastry (Dan Lepards) (makes enough for about 8 individual tarts)
- 250g plain flour
- 50g icing sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 egg yolks
- About 2 tbsp (30ml) ice-cold water
Sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl. Break the butter into small pieces and rub this through the flour until it vanishes. Beat the yolks with the water and stir this into the flour. Mix to a very soft and smooth dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes before using as it needs time to firm up.