By Miss Pollyanna, 12th December 2015

4 Fabulous Festive Homemade Ice Creams

The Perfect Alternatives to Christmas Pud, the Perfect Everyday Festive Desserts!

The Perfect Alternatives to Christmas Pud, the Perfect Everyday Festive Desserts!

I am a traditionalist when it comes to the pudding section of the Christmas dinner menu, and so it takes something VERY special indeed to lure me away from an authentic slice of good quality figgy pudding or a warm homemade mince pie served up with a mountainous dollop of Brandy butter or clotted cream. But I think I just might have come up with the very thing… And here I’m going to share with you my no-churn, easy peasy lemon squeezy recipes which you too might just want to serve up to round off the belly-busting Christmas roast in your house. Although, to be honest, these twists on ice cream are delicious – and acceptably so! – at any time throughout the festive period.

The basic recipe for most of these individual ice creams is an extremely simple combo of sweetened condensed milk (and for goodness sake DO make certain it IS the sweetened variety that you buy, else it’ll taste rank!), double cream and a splash of real vanilla extract. The sweetened condensed milk will give the ice cream a gorgeously milky and silky texture, which is exactly what we want in our ice cream – making it the complete opposite to the grainy icy version that can sometimes be fated to the homemade variety!

mince pies

1: Mince Pie Ice Cream
So perhaps this is nothing new and you’ve tried it before BUT a homemade version, I would argue, beats even a farm shop version hands down. Firstly, since YOU have made it, but secondly, for a fraction of the cost you can really tailor make this to suit your demanding taste buds. Think about all the varieties of mince pie filling that nowadays exist… and then there are all of the never-ending versions of mince pie pastry (yes, I am suggesting you go the whole festive hog and make your own mince pies first!) But really, when you consider that making these beautiful little gems is par for the course at this time of year anyway – plus you get the added bonus of eating any ‘casualties’ – and you will be able to do so in a fraction of the time it would take to prep your Christmas pud… in the spirit of experimentation, it’s just got to be done…

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You will need:
½ a 397g can sweetened condensed milk
600ml pot double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (the good stuff!)
1 tsp mixed spice
4 large mince pies

Method:
1: Put the condensed milk, cream, vanilla extract and mixed spice into a large bowl.
2: Beat with an electric whisk (ideally… or lots of elbow grease and a wooden spoon!) until thick and fairly stiff.
3: Cut the 4 mince pies into (roughly) 3-4cm chunks. It all comes down to preference, but I like to discover a real nugget when I am tucking into my ice cream!
4: Put everything into a container which is suitable for the freezer – or even a large loaf tin covered with cling film – and leave in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Let the ice cream soften very slightly for a good 20 minutes before you attempt to scoop it… or bite into those tasty mince pie chunks!
yule log image
2: Yule Log Ice Cream

Go on then: I AM going to let you cut corners here and buy a GOOD QUALITY shop bought yule log. But only because when it comes to using chocolate sponge of any form in a homemade ice cream, you really can’t tell the difference. And well, if you’re anything like me, as much as you may love playing Domestic Goddess, rolling up a Swiss roll to form the basis of said log never seems to get any easier!

You will need:
½ a 397g can sweetened condensed milk
600ml pot double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (the good stuff!)
40g good quality cocoa powder
A very generous slab of Yule Log (or 4 slices – about a finger’s width each), broken into generous chunks.

Method:
1: Put the condensed milk, sifted cocoa powder, cream and vanilla extract into a large bowl.
2: Beat with an electric whisk (ideally… or lots of elbow grease and a wooden spoon!) until thick and fairly stiff.
3: Add the decadent Yule Log chunks and mix, but don’t over mix.
4: Put everything into a container which is suitable for the freezer – or even a large loaf tin covered with cling film – and leave in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Let the ice cream soften very slightly for a good 20 minutes before you attempt to scoop it.

raisins

3: Christmas Pudding Ice Cream

You will need:
½ a 397g can sweetened condensed milk
600ml pot double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (the good stuff!)
1 tsp mixed spice
Christmas pudding – or Christmas pudding leftovers

Method:
1: Put the condensed milk, cream, vanilla extract and mixed spice into a large bowl.
2: Beat with an electric whisk (ideally… or lots of elbow grease and a wooden spoon!) until thick and fairly stiff.
3: Cut off a nice hunk of Christmas pudding and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Add it to the mix and make sure it’s evenly dispersed.
4: Put everything into a container which is suitable for the freezer – or even a large loaf tin covered with cling film – and leave in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Let the ice cream soften very slightly for a good 20 minutes before you attempt to scoop it.

4: Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream
There is no buying the supermarket’s own make shortcut here! You do have to make the cookie part of this dessert from scratch. But they take so little time and the combination is such a winner: Christmas in a bite. The recipe I insist on using is Nigella’s Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies – click here for details. And of course you will make way too many to actually use in your homemade ice cream, that you’ll just have to nibble at them while they are cooling down after their bake in the oven…

You will need:
½ a 397g can sweetened condensed milk
600ml pot double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (the good stuff!)
4 (or 5… go on, push the boat out) Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Method:
1: Put the condensed milk, cream and vanilla extract into a large bowl.
2: Beat with an electric whisk (ideally… or lots of elbow grease and a wooden spoon!) until thick and fairly stiff.
3: Break the 4 (or 5) cookies into chunks. Mix without over mixing.
4: Put everything into a container which is suitable for the freezer – or even a large loaf tin covered with cling film – and leave in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Let the ice cream soften very slightly for a good 20 minutes before you attempt to scoop it.

gingerbread

5: Gingerbread Ice Cream
But this isn’t any old gingerbread ice cream! Far from it. I am going to suggest you have a lot of fun with this one… Oh yes! If you have the time, inclination and bags of patience and creative flair, then Mary Berry has the quintessential Gingerbread house recipe here. Make it a couple of weeks before the big day so that you have chance to showcase it to your guests – as well as enjoying it yourself – during December. And then: smash it! Eat the most delicious looking fragments as you do so… but save back lots of lovely pieces to make your handmade Gingerbread Ice Cream with! Or just go and buy some in your local supermarket…

You will need:
½ a 397g can sweetened condensed milk
600ml pot double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (the good stuff!)
1 tsp ground ginger
spectacular shards of gingerbread. How many? Well, that is up to you!

Method:
1: Put the condensed milk, cream, vanilla extract and ginger into a large bowl.
2: Beat with an electric whisk (ideally… or lots of elbow grease and a wooden spoon!) until thick and fairly stiff.
3: Break up your gingerbread house – trying not to weep at the destruction of such beauty – and incorporate some nice 3-4cm chunks into the mixture. There’s no right or wrong here quantity wise. Just make sure you have a good ration of gingerbread pieces versus ice cream… Mix well, but not too well!
4: Put everything into a container which is suitable for the freezer – or even a large loaf tin covered with cling film – and leave in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Let the ice cream soften very slightly for a good 20 minutes before you attempt to scoop it.

I can’t imagine that anyone will find room for an After Eight or Stilton and Port after devouring any of the above! But I’d love to hear which was your favourite…

What did you think?

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