I can’t quite believe that the first post of my blogging career is to divulge my ‘secret’ ice-cream plum pudding recipe. It’s a variation on shearers’ ice-cream – a recipe used to make icy treats in the Outback where frozen goods are rendered liquid long before they make it home from the store. Here goes:
Soak 1 and a half cups of mixed dried fruit, and a half cup of sliced glace cherries in 3 tablespoons of alcohol – I like to use Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Rum or Brandy (or a combo!) Best left overnight if possible. Then add 1/2 teaspoon Allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves and 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon. Mix well. Inhale fumes!
Toast 100g of slivered almonds in a dry pan over medium heat. They should be a lovely golden colour – not too dark! Remove from heat as soon as they are done or they will keep cooking. While they cool, roughly chop half a cup of white chocolate and half a cup of dark. Make the pieces small, but not miniscule. I love this old measuring cup – it was my Nana’s and is one of a stackable set of four. Feel free to taste the chocolate to see if the quality is suitable.
Beat 600ml of cream and a 395g tin of sweetened condensed milk until thick. The mixture must be very thick and hold its shape, but don’t go crazy or it may curdle. Make sure you use a bowl big enough to hold the remaining ingredients. Add in the marinated mixed fruit, chocolate and HALF the almonds. Stir gently to combine. Taste. Maybe taste again. Why not? You won’t get any more until Christmas!
Take a loaf pan or a pudding basin and line well with plastic wrap, so that there is enough wrap to extend past the container’s edges. Place the remaining almonds in the bottom of the container and spread evenly.
Gently add the cream mix on top of the nuts. You may want to leave a little mixture in the bowl for the cook. Cover the top with some more plastic wrap and carefully fold the edges up onto the top of the pudding so that nothing is exposed to the air. Place in the freezer until Christmas.
To serve, remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving (you may need less if you live in Australia and are sweltering through a heat wave – or more if you live in an igloo at one of the Poles). Take off bottom layer of plastic wrap and upend onto a serving platter. Remove remaining wrap. Slice to serve. This is rich, so a small serve goes a long way. I often use caramel sauce or a chocolate fudge sauce as an accompaniment. Enjoy!
(I can’t lay claim to the pic of the completed pud below – but it gives you the general idea.)