What is Healthy Anyway?
As a whole, I dislike making health claims on the blog. All too often I see “healthy and healthier” bandied about with no explanation of why the recipe is healthier. I have no formal training, but I have a keen interest in nutrition, and hope that my biology degree gives me a reasonable understanding.
This is something that I would like to explore more. Until then, however, I’ll stick with the principles of if you burn off more energy than you consume you will get smaller (and vice versa). Also, variety and moderation are good, and we should all eat lots of vegetables and fruit. I aim for an extra portion with every meal and eat a good variety.
This ice cream is a little lighter than usual because I substituted cream for milk. It also has plenty of fruit, so I’m happy that it’s nice and not too naughty.
A Lighter Touch
Usually when I make a custard for ice cream I make it with a ratio of about 2:1 cream to milk. However on our recent trip to the Cotswolds, we ran out of cream. To save the 30 minute round trip to buy more, I made the custard with milk and the last dribble of cream from the pot (about a 5:1 ratio).
Once frozen and churned it was silky smooth and lovely and light, more like a gelato than an ice cream. With the addition of the nectarines there is an extra half portion of fruit in every serving, which all adds up. So although this is probably not healthy per se, by cutting down the cream and adding some fruit it certainly is healthier than your average ice cream and all the more delicious for being home-made
Roasted Honey Nectarine (Healthier) Ice Cream
For the nectarines
- 4 ripe nectarines - halved - stone removed
- 2 tsp honey
- 25 g butter
For the ice cream
- 375 ml semi skimmed milk
- 75 ml double cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 110 g golden sugar
- Preheat the oven to 190C / Gas Mark 5.
- Arrange the nectarines cut side up in a single layer in an oven proof dish. Drizzle with the honey, and dot with the butter. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, the time will vary according to ripeness, until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- To make the custard by pouring the milk and cream into a medium pan and gently heat to a gentle simmer. Whilst the milk and cream mixture is heating mix the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and frothy. Carefully pour the hot milk and cream mixture over, whisking all the time.
- Return to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring all over the time until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Set to one side and allow to cool.
- Use a blender to blitz half the nectarines and any cooking juices to a purée and add to the custard. Chop the remainder of the nectarines finely.
- Pour the custard mix into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions until frozen. Stir in the chopped nectarines, transfer to a plastic tub and freeze for a few hours until solid.
- You can vary the ratio of cream to milk, keep 450ml of liquid in total.
- Peaches would work as well as nectarines.
- Freeze leftover egg whites in silicon cup cake cases and use for meringue.
- Swirl some nectarine jam though to make this extra special.
We made our ice cream in the Magimix Le Glacier 1.5 litre ice cream maker, a fantastic little ice cream maker, that is both affordable and low tech, but works amazingly well.
Simply pop the bowl into the freezer for 10 hours. Then put it together, switch on and pour in your ice cream base. Hey presto, you have ice cream in 30 minutes. I find this type of ice cream maker where you pre freeze, consistently makes firmer ice cream than the type with a compressor. It also has the obvious advantages of being considerably cheaper, smaller, and lighter. It’s perfect to take on a self catering holiday if you really are an ice cream addict.
Of course, for the machine to work you do need to pre freeze the bowl. On this model it is 20 cm across, and 18 cm tall. This means it does take up a fair bit of room in the freezer. I always have to have a good rearrange to fit it in. (If I had a full size, or chest freezer it would live in there all the time.)
It will churn up to 2 pints of ice cream or sorbet, and coped well with smaller amounts too. Cleaning up is easy, simply wash with warm water, and allow to dry before refreezing. It should last for years. Ed’s ice cream loving sister has an older model that she has had for ages. It is still much loved and going strong.
The 1.5 model is available for £59.95 for John Lewis, and the smaller 1.1 model which makes just over a pint of ice cream is £49.95.
We received a review Le Glacier ice cream maker from Magimix. All opinions our own.
If you love nectarines you might like my small batch nectarine jam, the recipe makes just 2 pots from 4 fruit – ideal for the beginner jam maker.
Or, a related recipe for grown-up use for peaches, how about peach gin?