With two seasons cooking under my belt, my confidence had grown significantly and I was increasingly adding more intricate touches to dishes. I had been experimenting with various home made icecreams during the season and was really keen to try out a savoury version. I read about Ferran Adria doing a parmesan ice cream at Il Bulli and thought it would be a brilliant addition to the red pepper tart tatin. The result was really delicious and was also a fun dish to serve to guests as many had not had cheesey ice cream before – hopefully I convinced them that it was a much wonderful as it was weird!
It also makes a great dinner party dish as the tart is very quick to put together and the balsamic reduction and parmesan ice cream can both be made well in advance.
Parmesan ice cream recipe
Makes 20 servings (small scoops). This does require an ice cream machine
- 100g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 750ml milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 600 ml double cream
- Soak the cheese in 250ml of milk for 1 hour
- Heat the rest of the milk until it is simmering and then add the cheese and milk – let it simmer for a couple of minutes while you stir it continuously with a wooden spoon to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Keep going until the cheese has mostly melted into liquid form – but not for more than about 5 minutes.
- Line a sieve with a cooking muslin or some kitchen roll and place it over a large bowl. Pour the cheesey milk mixture through this into the bowl and leave it to drain for about an hour so that you separate as much of the flavoured milk from the gooey left over cheese residue.
- Chuck the goo away and add the flavoured milk to the cream in a large saucepan and heat but do not allow it to boil. Pour about 500ml of the mixture into a jug.
- Whisk the egg yolk with the salt in an electric mixer or similar until they have thickened and lightened in colour. Then keep the mixer running while you very slowly pour the heated cream/milk mixture in a steady stream into the egg yolks. Don’t rush this step or you will end up with a yucky scrambled egg situation which is almost impossible to salvage.
- Once you have got 500ml of cream/milk mixed smoothly into the egg yolks, transfer that all back into the remainder of the cream & milk in the saucepan.
- Heat on the stove over a medium heat and stir continuously until the mixture thickens to a consistency that can coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- If in doubt, it is better to stop sooner rather than later as if you over cook it you will end up with a grainy scrambled mess rather than a smooth custard.
- Let the custard cool overnight and then churn as per the instructions on your icecream maker.