I Want to Marry This...I Do Ice Cream from Brooklyn 'Ample Hills Creamery'

Ready to propose, here's an ice-cream recipe from Ample Hills CreamerySecrets & Stories from Brooklyn's Favorite Ice Cream Shop (Stewart Tabori & Chang, April 2014) by Brian Smith, Jackie Cuscuna and Lauren Kaelin of Ample Hills Creamery that will do the trick...

If your better half to be is a vegetarian skip the bacon bark and stick with maple ice cream.

I Want to Marry This!

For the Maple Ice Cream:

2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons skim milk powder
1⅓ cups whole milk
¾ cup grade B maple syrup
2 cups heavy cream
3 egg yolks

For the Bacon Bark:

Butter for the baking sheet
1 pound bacon
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
2¼ cups organic cane sugar
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

I want to marry AmpleHIllsCreamery_p074

1. Make the maple ice cream: Prepare an ice bath in the sink or in a large heatproof bowl.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, skim milk powder, and milk. Stir with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Make sure the skim milk powder is wholly dissolved into the mixture and that no lumps remain (any remaining sugar granules will dissolve over the heat). Stir in the maple syrup and cream.

3. Clip a candy thermometer to the saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking and burning, until the mixture reaches 110ºF (45ºC), 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

4. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl. While whisking, slowly pour ½ cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks to temper them. Continue to whisk slowly until the mixture is an even color and consistency, then whisk the egg-yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture.

5. Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat and continue cooking the mixture, stirring
often, until it reaches 165ºF, 5 to 10 minutes more.

6. Transfer the pan to the prepared ice bath and let cool for 15 to20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the ice cream base through a wire-mesh strainer into a storage container and place in the
refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until completely cool.

7. Make the bacon bark: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Butter two 12-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheets and line them with parchment paper.

8. On one baking sheet, lay out the bacon strips in a single layer. Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the bacon grease from the pan and discard the rest or reserve it for another use. Let cool, then break the bacon into small pieces and set aside.

9. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cane sugar, brown sugar, salt, reserved bacon grease, and ¼ cup water. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan and set the pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until just combined, then continue to cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 305ºF. Be very careful—the toffee will bubble up as it boils. It is very hot and will cause serious burns if it spatters on you. Using oven mitts, remove the pan from the heat, remove the thermometer, and add the vanilla. The vanilla might spatter when it hits the hot toffee, so be careful. Add the baking soda and whisk vigorously for a few seconds to combine. Then add the bacon pieces and fold into the toffee. Pour the toffee evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.

10. Before the toffee cools, sprinkle the chocolate across the top. Wait a minute or two, then use
a spatula to spread the now melted chocolate across the top of the toffee. Let cool completely, then refrigerate for 1 hour, until the toffee has hardened. Chop the toffee into bite-size pieces and set aside.

11. Transfer the cooled base to an ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s
instructions.

12. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container, folding in the pieces of bacon bark as you do.
Use as much of the bacon bark as you want; you won’t necessarily need the whole batch. Serve
immediately or harden in your freezer for 8 to 12 hours for a more scoopable ice cream.

(Recipe reproduced with permission from Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop, by Brian Smith, Jackie Cuscuna and Lauren Kaelin, published by Stewart Tabori & Chang © 2014, photos: ©Lucy Schaeffer)


Barclays Gridlock that Never Was, Slice of New York in an Ice Cream Cone from 'Ample Hills Creamery'

Barclays Gridlock that never was turns into an ice-cream treat from Ample Hills CreamerySecrets & Stories from Brooklyn's Favorite Ice Cream Shop (Stewart Tabori & Chang, April 2014) by Brian Smith, Jackie Cuscuna and Lauren Kaelin of Ample Hills Creamery ...

Barclays Gridlock

1 recipe brownies (please send us request)

1 recipe coffee ice cream (please send us request)

½ cup roasted salted peanuts 
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chocolate covered pretzels, chopped

Barclays gridlock

1. Prepare the brownies according to the recipe directions. Let cool, then chop them into bite-size pieces. Freeze until ready to use.

2. Prepare the coffee ice cream according to the recipe directions. Transfer the cooled base to an ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. In a small bowl, toss together the peanuts, chocolate chips, pretzels, and brownie pieces and toss to combine.

4. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container, folding in the peanut mixture as you do. Use as
much of the peanut mixture as you want; you won’t necessarily need the whole batch. Serve
immediately or harden in your freezer for 8 to 12 hours for a more scoopable ice cream.

(Recipe reproduced with permission from Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop, by Brian Smith, Jackie Cuscuna and Lauren Kaelin, published by Stewart Tabori & Chang © 2014, photos: ©Lucy Schaeffer)


Happy Sweet 4th, Float with Purple Cow from 'The Soda Fountain' by Brooklyn Farmacy

Happy Sweet 4th, Float with Purple Cow from The Soda Fountain (May 2014, Ten Speed Press) by Gia Giasullo, Peter Freeman and Elizabeth Kiem of Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain in Carroll Gardens.

You might have to wait until Labor Day week-end to make this recipe as Concord grapes are not in season right now. Otherwise you will have to create a variation of this recipe with different grape variety.

PURPLE COW

MAKES 1 FLOAT

First there was an ode (see page 78), then came the float, pictured at right.

1⁄4 cup (2 ounces) Concord Grape Syrup (page 79)
11⁄4 cups (10 ounces) plain cold seltzer
1 (4-ounce) scoop vanilla ice cream

Pour the syrup into a fountain glass and add seltzer until the glass is two-thirds full. Stir gently with a soda spoon to combine. Then, scoop a very firm 4-ounce ball of ice cream and “hang” it on the inside rim of the glass. Add the remaining seltzer to fill the glass. Serve immediately.

Purple Cow

CONCORD GRAPE SYRUP

MAKES ABOUT 5 C UPS

Concord grapes are an early fall crop that show up in New York farmers’ markets in the latter half of September. Although they were developed for the New England climate, they’re grown all over the United States (although mostly in the northern states). Unless yours is a very large or sophisticated grocery store, you will probably not find Concord grapes on its shelves. Farmers’ markets are your best bet, followed by health food stores that carry a good selection of produce.

Chances are you don’t have a bottle of orange flower water hanging around in your pantry as it’s not a commonly used ingredient in this country. If you need to locate some, try a store that has a well-curated herb and spice section. If you can wait for it to be shipped, it can be found easily enough online. (What to do with the rest of bottle once you’ve made grape syrup? Splash it in your bath. No kidding. It smells heavenly.) This syrup is featured in the Purple Cow float (page 94).

3 and 1⁄2 pounds fresh Concord grapes, stemmed
1 and 3⁄4 cups (14 ounces) cane sugar
2⁄3 cup (5.4 ounces) water
5 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1⁄4 teaspoon orange flower water (optional)

Place the grapes, sugar, the 2⁄3 cup water, and lime juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, let cool for 10 minutes, and stir in the orange flower water.

Place a strainer over a bowl and pour the grape mixture into it in manageable batches, using a wooden spoon to mash the mixture against the mesh of the strainer. Discard the seedy mash that remains in the strainer. Let the syrup cool to room temperature and chill before using.

Store the syrup in covered glass jars or plastic containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, but watch it, grapes do ferment! The syrup may also be frozen in plastic containers for up to 3 months. If frozen, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

To make a Concord grape soda, fill a 12-ounce glass halfway with ice, add 1⁄4 cup (2 ounces) of Concord Grape Syrup, top with seltzer, and stir gently with a soda spoon to combine.

(* Reprinted with permission from The Soda Fountain by Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, Inc. copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photography (c) 2014 by Michael Harlan Turkell)


Black Cow Float aka Root Beer Float 1947 Style via Ample Hills Creamery ice-cream Opus

What falls out of fashion gets back in fashion at some point as this Black Cow Float aka Root Beer Float 1947 style from Ample Hills Creamery, Secrets & Stories from Brooklyn's Favorite Ice Cream Shop (Stewart Tabori & Chang, April 2014) by Brian Smith, Jackie Cuscuna and Lauren Kaelin of Ample Hills Creamery proves.

Black Cow Float

For the Root Beer Ice Cream:

1 recipe Walt’s Dream (available on request, please email us)
1 tablespoon root beer extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Milk Chocolate Swirl:
6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream

AmpleHIllsCreamery_p086

1. Make the root beer ice cream: Prepare Walt’s Dream according to the recipe directions. After cooling the base in the ice bath, add the extracts and stir to combine.

2. Transfer the cooled base to an ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s
instructions.

3. While the ice cream is churning, make the milk chocolate swirl: Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until it starts to bubble up. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.

4. Transfer the base to a storage container, gently folding in heaping spoonfuls of the milk chocolate swirl as you do, softly lifting and spinning it throughout the ice cream. Be careful not to overmix. Serve immediately or harden in your freezer for 8 to 12 hours for a more scoopable ice cream.

Make a Root Beer Float:

Add a scoop or two of this ice cream to a glass of root beer with tons of chocolate swirled around
inside the glass!

(Recipe reproduced with permission from Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop, by Brian Smith, Jackie Cuscuna and Lauren Kaelin, published by Stewart Tabori & Chang © 2014, photos: © Lucy Schaeffer)


Zesty Citrus and Light Anise Flavors, Orange Fennel Seed Ice Cream from Smashing Plates by Maria Elia

Follow-up to Ouzo Mayonnaise Shrimp Cocktail from Smashing Plates(Kyle Books USA, April 2014) by Maria Elia brings together citrus and anise flavors for dessert.

Orange and Fennel Seed Ice Cream

The flavor of anise features quite heavily in Greek cuisine. Here I’ve used fennel seeds, which have a
light anise/licorice flavor and balance perfectly with the zesty orange. The ice cream is delicious served
with my Chocolate, Orange, and Anise Tart (page 186).

Serves 4–6 as a dessert, or 12 as an accompaniment to the Chocolate, Orange, and Anise Tart

1 3/4 cups heavy cream
zest of 2 oranges
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
6 free-range egg yolks
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup whole milk

16_Orange_Fennel_IceCream_017

Heat the cream, orange zest, and fennel seeds in a saucepan until almost boiling. Turn off the heat and let infuse for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick. Reheat the infused cream,
adding the milk over medium heat until almost boiling. Slowly whisk the cream into the egg mixture until combined.

Return the mixture to the pan and stir continuously over low heat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.

Strain into a bowl placed over a pan filled with ice and stir occasionally until cool. Churn in an ice-cream
machine following the manufacturer’s instructions.

(* Recipe excerpted from Smashing Plates by Maria Elia -Kyle Books USA, April 2014- Photography by Jenny Zarins, all right reserved)


Blueberry Brunch Table: Blueberry Boy Bait, Blueberry Ginger Hand Pies, Blueberry Caipiroska, Paletas

Want to make your Sunday brunch very blueberry, these recipes will get you started.

On your blueberry table, start with Nordic Blueberry Caipiroska (from 'Cocktails') add moist Fifties flavors with Blueberry Boy Bait by Cybele Pascal (from 'The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook').

Make your pies portable with Blueberry Ginger Hand Pies (from 'Vegan Pie in the Sky').

Leave room for a berry laden cocktail, Camden Hike by bartender Tom from Maine (from 'The American Cocktail').

Don't forget breakfast part of brunch with Vegan Vanilla Mixed Berry Muffins (from 'Flour Too') and Gluten Free Five Spice Berry Crisp (from 'Gluten Free Asian Kitchen').

Cheesecakeblueberry

Let's not leave out ice-cream and pops with Cheesecake Ice Cream (Pie) Sprinkled with Blueberries (from 'Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones') and also Paletas de Yogurt con Moras by Fany Gerson (from 'Paletas')

Now don't get an indigestion. Leave room for a little salad and eggs in between.

(* Illustration, 'Cheesecake Ice Cream Sprinkled with Blueberries' from Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker,  and Dabney Gough, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Paige Green © 2012)


Appetizers to Lamb to Vegetarian, Slowly Organizing Our Recipes in 15 Categories

After sharing recipes for a few years, I thought it was time to find a way to allow visitors to the site to narrow their search.

We started today with 15 categories listed with their respective links in right column of 'Serge the Concierge' after mother category Recipes.

The 15 categories (listed in alphabetical order using model Recipes: Appetizers) are Appetizers, Baking, Chicken, Chocolate, Cocktails, Fish and Seafood, Gluten Free, Ice Cream and Sorbet, Lamb, Non Alcoholic Drinks, Pork, Salads, Soups, Vegan and last Vegetarian.

Some recipes like Chilled Tofu with Crunchy Baby Sardines are referenced in 2 (or more) groups for Tofu with Sardines both under Appetizers and Fish and Seafood.

Panelle-1 (2)

So far about 40 to 50 recipes have been updated to reflect this friendlier way.

We will add the rest as quickly as we can and hope to be done by September 1st, 2013.

Let us know how you like the change.

(* Illustration is photo from Panelle, Sicilian Fritters, Gluten Free recipe from The Country Cooking of Italy by Colman Andrews- Chronicle Books, Fall 2011- reproduced with permission of the publisher- all rights reserved- Photography by Hirsheimer and Hamilton)


Persian Cuke, Strawberry Hibiscus, Icy Hot, Beat the Heat with Summer Babe Sorbets from Lust for Leaf

Woke up to an excessive heat advisory that calls for Summer Babe Sorbets from Lust for Leaf (Da Capo Press-Lifelong Books, June 2013) by Hot Knives Alex Brown and Evan George, a beer and fun loving vegetarian cookbook.

Summer Babe Sorbets

T_H_E_ _P_H_R_A_S_E_ _“E_A_S_Y_ _A_S_ _P_I_E_” _S_H_O_U_L_D_ _B_E_ _T_R_A_N_S_M_O_G_R_I_F_I_E_D_ _T_O_ _“simple as sorbet.” Compare the steps, ingredients, and brainpower for the following recipes to the litany of laminated dough a few pages down. And you barely have to turn on your stove to make these ripping desserts. Heads up vegans: you ought never again be burned by base imitations of Ben & Jerry’s. Call a spade a spade: frozen coconut milk is still sorbet (and these are better than all of them phonies).

Persian Cuke

Makes 1 quart

4 cups water
4 cups white sugar
6 Persian cucumbers

1. Make a simple syrup. Combine sugar and water in a medium-sized pot. Crank the heat and bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. After it hits a boil, turn it off.

2. Wash and roughly chop your cukes. Add half of them to a blender or food processor. Add just enough syrup to make the mixture move, and then puree till kingdom come. Repeat with the rest, then combine and mix the syrup with the puree in a container with a lid. Chill the mix down overnight (or until cold).

3. To use, pour the chilled mix over a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl, using a ladle or spatula
to press the liquid through. Process the strained mix in an ice cream maker of your choice.
Garnish with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon.

Summerbabesorbets

Strawberry Hibiscus

Makes 1 quart

4 cups of water
4 cups of white sugar
2 tablespoons dried hibiscus
2 baskets of strawberries

1. Make a simple syrup. Combine sugar and water in a medium-sized pot. Crank the heat and bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. After it hits a boil, turn it off.

2. Add the hibiscus to simple syrup and stir to incorporate, letting it steep while you prep your berries.

3. De-stem and wash those berries. Halve them. Add half of them to a blender or food processor.
Add just enough syrup to make the mixture move, and then puree till kingdom come. Repeat with the rest, combine and mix the syrup with the puree in a container with a lid. Chill the mix down overnight (or until cold).

4. To use, pour the chilled mix over a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl, using a ladle or spatula to press the liquid through. Process the strained mix in an ice cream maker of your choice. Garnish with saba or a drizzle of olive oil.

Icey Hot

Makes 1 quart

6 poblano chiles
6 Anaheim chiles
4 cups water
4 cups white sugar

1. Burn the shit out of your chiles over an open flame. A grill is best, but your stove top works. Cook them until every inch of skin is black, rotating them often to evenly disperse the heat. As they finish blackening, toss them in a paper bag to cool.

2. Make a simple syrup. Combine sugar and water in a medium-sized pot. Crank the heat and bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. After it hits a boil, turn it off.

3. When the chiles are cool enough to handle, rub off the charred skins. Make a vertical incision on
each pepper and remove all the seeds and connective membranes (skip this if you want a spicier
sorbet). Add half of them to a blender or food processor with just enough syrup to make the mixture move, and then puree till kingdom come. Repeat with the rest, combine and mix the syrup with the puree in a container with a lid. Chill the mix down overnight (or until cold).

4. To use, pour the chilled mix over a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl, using a ladle or spatula to press the liquid through. Process the strained mix in an ice cream maker of your choice. Garnish with a shot of tequila or mezcal.

(* Recipes from 'Lust for Leaf Veggie Crowd-Pleasers to Fuel your Picnics, Potlucks and Ragers by Alex Brown and Evan George- Da Capo Press Lifelong Books, June 2013- all rights reserved)


No Bread Goes to Waste with Brown Bread Ice Cream, from Nick Malgieri 'Bread'

No bread goes to waste with this recipe from  Bread, 'Over 60 Breads, Rolls and Cakes Plus Delicious Recipes Using Them' (Kyle Books, October 2012) by Nick Malgieri...

BROWN BREAD ICE CREAM (p.228) 

When I first started outlining this book, I had a long talk with my favorite baking guru, Kyra Effren, whose teaching and baking experience spans a lifetime. She made some great suggestions and then added, “And don’t forget brown bread ice cream—it’s one of my favorites.” Baking crumbled bread with caramel, a pinch of salt, and just a tablespoon of butter produces sweet crumbs that stay crisp once added to the ice cream. The ice cream recipe is based on the one I learned from Monsieur Alex Frolla, the pastry chef when I did my three summer seasons working at the Sporting Club and the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. It was the best ice cream I've ever tasted.

Makes about 2 quarts ice cream

ICE CREAM MIXTURE

4 cups whole milk

11/3 cups sugar

1 vanilla bean, split

Three 3-inch strips lemon zest, yellow part only, removed with a vegetable peeler

2-inch piece of cinnamon stick

10 large egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

CARAMELIZED BROWN BREAD CRUMBS

2 cups crustless whole wheat bread, sliced

1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling

Pinches of fine sea salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

One jelly-roll pan or small roasting pan, bottom lined with parchment paper

Bread_BreadIceCream_1

1. For the ice cream, set a medium saucepan in a bowl of ice water; place a fine mesh strainer over the pan.

2. Whisk the milk and sugar in another saucepan and add the vanilla bean. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest and cinnamon stick, and let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl just enough to break them up.

3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vanilla bean, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick and return the milk mixture to a boil. Whisk about one third of it into the yolks, then return the pan to low heat. Starting to whisk before pouring, pour the yolk mixture into the pan and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens slightly—it won’t be very thick. Immediately strain it into the prepared pan and whisk the strained mixture several times in the next few minutes while it’s cooling. Once cooled, pour it into a non-reactive bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the next day.

Right before you intend to churn the ice cream, whisk in the cream.

4. For the brown bread crumbs, set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Scatter the bread on the pan and bake until dry, but not toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven but leave the oven on.

5. Combine 1/4 cup water and the sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until the sugar starts to color. Pull the pan off the heat so that the caramel doesn’t get too dark—it will continue to darken from the heat retained by the pan. Quickly heat the other 1/4 cup water in a small pan. Check the color of the caramel; if it is not yet a deep amber color, return the pan to the heat for

2 additional minutes, then repeat. When the caramel is ready, cover your hand and forearm with a towel and add the hot water to the caramel, averting your face. The caramel will bubble up, then settle. If the caramel has cooled and hardens on contact with the water, place the pan back on low heat and cook for a minute or two, stirring, until the caramel is liquid. Use a tablespoon to drizzle the diluted caramel over the bread cubes on the pan, sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons sugar, a few pinches of salt, and the butter, then use 2 spoons to toss

the bread cubes to distribute the caramel, sugar, and salt evenly.

6. Bake the bread cubes again, stirring them every 2 minutes, until they are well toasted and crisp, 6 to 7 minutes.

7. Slide the paper off the pan to a rack to cool the crumbs. They’ll become quite crunchy when the caramel hardens; if necessary, break apart any that have stuck together while cooling.

8. Before you churn the ice cream, place a stainless steel bowl in the freezer. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Scrape into the prepared bowl and quickly fold in the cooled crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until serving time.

(* Recipe excepted from 'Bread' by Nick Malgieri-published by Kyle Books, October 2012- photography by Romulo Yanes, all rights reserved)


Inspired by Stendhal? Black and Red Currant Ice Cream Recipe from Foolproof Freezer Cookbook

Third taste of Foolproof Freezer Cookbook (Kyle Books, USA edition, August 2012) by Ghillie James has summer treat spelled all over it.

Black and Red Ice Cream

2 and 1/2 cups black currants

heaping 1 and 1/2 cups red currants

4 tablespoons sloe gin or apple juice

1 and 1/2 (14-ounce) cans lowfat or regular condensed milk

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

4 meringue cookies or meringue cups, lightly crushed (optional)

BlackcurrantIcecream83030

I thought it would be nice to make an ice cream with red currants as they seem to be overlooked for desserts. You could make this with just black currants if you like, but a mixture works better than red currants on their own. The fruits can be cooked from frozen if you have not bought them fresh. Eat it within a couple of weeks, as it tends to lose its texture if you leave it for too long.

Makes about 2 quarts 

In a saucepan, place the black currants, red currants, gin, or juice and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the currants look like they have more or less burst, strain through a strainer over a bowl and, using a spatula, push all the puree through. Let the puree cool.

Using a hand mixer, whip the cream until floppy, then beat in the condensed milk and berry puree. Using a spoon, fold in the meringue (if using) and turn into a 2-quart container.

Place in the freezer for at least 4 to 5 hours, or until frozen.

Remove 20 minutes or so before eating and let stand in a cool place.

Turn out onto a plate and cut into slices.

(* Recipe from Foolproof Freezer Cookbook by Ghillie James-Kyle Books, US Edition, August 2012-reproduced with permission- Photography by Tara Fisher)