On Thursday I received some incredible news. I got my degree results and I am the proud recipient of a first class degree! Everything seemed to slot into place in my exams. It feels like such an amazing end to my time at Oxford.
I struggled a lot at times and I have to thank my incredible tutors for pulling me through and believing in me. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to study in such a fantastic academic environment - it has been a true education.
As I mentioned in my post about the Big Feastival, some of the best things I tasted there were ices. One of the ones that particularly made an impression on me was a divine raspberry pavlova ice cream. I immediately decided I had to try and recreate it.
The night before I made this we had some friends around to dinner and we made meringues for pudding, two of which I saved to make this. They were really fluffy in the middle and chewy and crisp on the outside. I know there are a lot of people who think meringues should be crisp and dry all the way through but I quite like mine to have a bit of pavlova squish, especially when they're being served with whipped cream, fresh fruit and custard. Crumbled up they also worked perfectly in this ice cream.
The contrast of the sharp raspberry sauce, creamy ice cream and crunchy and chewy pieces of meringue is an absolute delight. I think this might be the best ice cream I've made.
Raspberry Pavlova Ice Cream
(base adapted from David Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop)
For the base:
500ml double cream
250ml whole milk
115g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
6 egg yolks
Place 250ml of the cream into a medium bowl and set a fine sieve over the top. Create an ice bath. Put the milk, sugar, vanilla paste, salt and 250ml of the cream into a medium saucepan. Put over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl whisk the egg yolks together. Pour some of the hot milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. Return to the pan and whisk to combine. Stir until the mixture reaches custard consistency then remove from the heat and pour through the sieve into a bowl. Put the bowl into the ice bath and cool to room temperature. Put into the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
For the additions:
20g caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 meringue nests
Place the raspberries in a dish and sprinkle with the sugar and juice. Leave for an hour or so to macerate. Meanwhile break the meringue nests up into small chunks. Optionally then toast these chunks in the oven for five minutes at 150C. Press the raspberries through a fine sieve until only the seeds remain. Churn the base according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Sprinkle a handful of meringue chunks over the bottom of a 1.5ltr tub, followed by a few spoonfuls of the raspberry sauce. Scoop 1/3 of the ice cream into the tub and spread out. Top with more meringue chunks and sauce. Keep layering until you reach the top. Add the final chunks and more sauce then swirl the whole tub briefly with a skewer. Work quickly so it doesn't melt and get into the freezer quickly. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with any remaining raspberry sauce.
(Makes just over a litre)