Bay Leaf and Milk Ice Cream

The bay tree is one of the workhorses of the kitchen garden; impossibly tough, generously aromatic, and consistently green throughout the year. Walk past, pluck a leaf or two off and crush it in your hands- heaven.

Do you remember mini-milks? Leaning in, to arm-stretching depths, deep down into the freezer to pull out one of those perfect little treats on a stick; the first ice cream I probably ever tasted. It seemed fitting, therefore, that my first attempt at making real, proper ice-cream, would be to conjure up a grown-up, swanky, elegant, dinner party-ending version of that humble mini-milk.

The Bay leaf’s botanical perfumes may be ever so subtle, but you still don’t need much to taste it, one of two leaves will do the job nicely.

Ingredients

    400 ml organic Whole milk
    400 ml double Cream
    200g sugar
    1 or 2 bay leaves

What you’ll need:

A saucepan.

A big bowl full of ice, and another bowl that will sit happily in that.

An ice cream maker, with its bowl pre frozen for 12 hours.

(I haven’t tried this recipe without an ice cream maker, but if you don’t have access to one, it may well work analogue method- instead of pouring into the machine, place in the freezer, giving it a good stirring every half an hour until it’s reached the desired consistency.)

Method

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer on a low heat until bubbles begin to appear around the edge. Take off the heat and pour into the empty bowl, then sit that bowl in the bowl of ice for about half an hour. Once cooled, refrigerate your mixture for two hours.

Fetch the pre-frozen ice cream bowl, and pour your mixture into the machine, leaving it to churn for 25-30 minutes. This will give you a deliciously soft scoop. Enjoy straight away, or place in the freezer to enjoy a firmer ice cream later. It will keep for up to a week… if you haven’t eaten it all by then.

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