Brambles, or blackberries, are a favourite of mine. There is something instantly pleasing about these juicy dark berries and I almost never say no to them when they are in season, even the more bitter ones sold with a “great for cooking” sticker. I know I will always manage to find a wee place for them in a breakfast, bake or pud. This recipe came about when I had done exactly that.
MAKES ABOUT 700ML
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Crush the cardamom pods gently until the black seeds are all loose and slightly bashed. Place the seeds and husks in a saucepan with the milk and cream and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Take the pan off the heat and leave to steep for 15 minutes.
In another saucepan, heat the brambles, 25g (1oz) of the sugar and the 1 tablespoon of water over a medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 5–7 minutes to allow the fruit mixture to thicken a little, much as you would when making a compote. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks (keep the whites for making meringues, which go particularly well with this ice cream) with the remaining sugar and cornflour. Once the mixture is smooth, pour the lukewarm cream and cardamom mix on top, whisking all the time. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a low heat for 5–10 minutes until thickened. Strain into the bramble sauce in order to remove the cardamom husks. Stir well and leave to cool completely, then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Once the mixture is fully chilled, pour it into an ice-cream maker and
churn following the manufacturer’s instructions or until set. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.