Plum ice cream and ginger biscuit sandwich
( SERVES 8 )
The sultry pink of this ice cream comes from the plums, so use ones with dark flesh. The combination of ginger and plums seems as natural as peaches and cream.
- To make the purée, wash the plums, remove the stalks, then cut the fruit in half and remove the stones. Cut the fruit into pieces and place in a deep saucepan with the water and sugar. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until tender. Pour into a blender and purée until smooth.
- Make the ice cream. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan, slice the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape the seeds into the pan. Add the pod halves as well, and bring the milk almost to the boil (it's hot enough when a skin starts to form). Turn off the heat and leave the vanilla to infuse for 30 minutes.
- While the milk infuses, cream the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy. Strain the milk through a sieve onto the egg mixture, whisking it in as you do. Transfer it into a clean saucepan, place back over a moderate heat. Bring it slowly to the heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, and cook until thickens and will coat the back of the spoon. The custard should not reach boiling point or it will scramble the eggs. Pour the thickened custard into a cold bowl and refrigerate until cold. Pour into an ice-cream machine and churn until almost frozen. Line a shallow baking tin with plastic wrap.
- Pour in one cup of the purée, spoon the ice cream into the baking tin and smooth the top with a palette knife. Cover tightly with more plastic wrap and freeze for at least an hour. Remove the ice cream from the freezer, remove the top layer of plastic wrap and cut into rounds the same size as the ginger biscuits. Sandwich the ice cream between the biscuits and serve.
- To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 170C. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and golden syrup and continue to mix while you sift the flour, soda and spices. Add to the creamed mixture. Beat in the milk until the dough forms a smooth ball. Tip the dough onto a floured board and roll out. Cut into 2cm-diameter rounds. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper and place the rounds onto the trays with enough space between them to allow for spreading. Bake for 15 minutes to a deep golden brown, remove and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.