Warm hot cross buns; spiced, zested and dripping in butter, are as synonymous with spring as blossom and Easter egg hunts. I find the flavour particularly nostalgic, so thought I’d apply it to one of my favourite things- ice cream. This is made up of a classic custard base (which I infused with cardamom, mixed spice and cinnamon), a buttered hot cross bun crumb and plump orange-soaked raisins. The result is so delicious we got through about 1.5l in three days (wouldn’t recommend this).
- 400ml whole milk
- 400ml double cream
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 10 cardamom pods, cracked
- 1/2 fresh nutmeg, grated
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 8 egg yolks
- 85g caster sugar
- 50g light brown soft sugar
- pinch salt
- 225g hot cross buns
- 1tbsp demerara sugar
- 2tbsp butter
- 75g raisins
- juice and zest 1 orange
- You will need an ice cream churner for this recipe. If the bowl of your churner needs freezing, do this the day before.
- Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cardamom pods and mixed spice.
- Gently heat the milk to scalding point (just as it starts to simmer) then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, caster sugar, soft light brown sugar and salt. Once this mixture is voluminous and light, strain the milk through a sieve and add in in a steady stream, whisking constantly.
- Pour the custard into a large clean saucepan and heat very gently, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, close cover and leave to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 190c. While the ice cream base is cooling, make the hot cross bun crumb. To do this simply blitz the hot cross buns into a coarse crumb, then tip into a large frying pan along with the butter and demerara sugar. Stir to coat the crumbs in the melted butter and once they begin to crisp, tip onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.
- Place the raisins in a small bowl along with the orange juice and zest. Leave them too plump up.
- Once your ice cream base is completely cool, churn it for about 10 minutes or until it’s starting to thicken. At this stage, add 3/4 of the hot cross bun crumb and most of the plumped raisins. Continue to churn until thick, then tip into a large lined container, top with the remaining crumb and raisins and freeze for at least 4 hours. At this point, it’s ready to serve.
It might be winter, but there’s no reason why ice cream should be an indulgence reserved for the warmer months (especially when it tastes this good). This variety consists of a smooth and nutty peanut butter custard base and a generous helping of crunchy caramelised white chocolate, which is rippled through and sprinkled on the custard after churning. Side note, caramelising white chocolate in the oven is a game changer- it takes on a beautiful golden colour and intense butterscotch flavour; once cooled it can be broken into a crumble and used on just about anything!
Ingredients (makes about 1.5 litres)
- 200g white chocolate
- 250ml double cream
- 725ml whole milk
- 225g peanut butter (I’d usually always favour the crunchy variety, but use smooth for this!)
- Generous pinch sea salt
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- a handful of peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 140c. Before you make the peanut butter custard, caramelise the white chocolate. To do this break the chocolate into rough chunks and lay out on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Pop the tray in the oven for about half an hour, or until the chocolate is golden brown (it will look a little almost burnt, but don’t worry!). Set aside to cool while you make the custard.
- Pour the double cream and full fat milk into a large saucepan, bring to a boil then set aside. Whisk the sugar and egg yolk together in a large bowl until pale and thick, then gradually add the hot cream mixture followed by the peanut butter and salt then whisk again to combine.
- Return the mixture to a clean pan and set over a medium heat. Stir constantly until it thickens and reaches a custard consistency (or coats the back of a spoon- be careful not to overheat or the mixture will end up looking like scrambled eggs).
- Once the mixture has thickened, strain through a sieve and chill for an hour, then pour into an ice cream maker and churn for at least half an hour (or until very thick and creamy).
- While the ice cream is churning, break up the caramelised white chocolate into a coarse crumble then line a 1.5litre tub or loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
- When the ice cream is ready, scrape it into a bowl along with 2/3 of the white chocolate crumble. Ripple the chocolate through the ice cream with a large metal spoon, then tip it into the lined tub/tin and level out. Sprinkle the remaining white chocolate crumble on top and finish with the chopped peanuts. Cover and freeze until firm. Remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before you’d like to serve it, to make scooping easier.