A few weeks ago I went to the cobblers to get my boots resoled. They had needed looking at for a few months, but I had been post-poning it because I wanted to find a good cobbler in Manchester. After a few of internet searches, two phone calls (the first just to verify that they actually existed, the second to find them – they were hiding inside a dry cleaner’s!) and a day later my boots were looking better than new. Finding a reliable cobbler was the last thing I needed to do to feel like home in this new city of mine. I had access to two great cobblers in Lancaster and didn’t want any shoddy job on my favourite boots. I know a lot of people I know don’t bother repairing shoes when they wear out, they just buy a new pair. Mind you, most of the cheaper shoes you can buy cannot really be repaired in a decent manner. Anyway, Manchester has now become more familiar, yet still largely undiscovered. It’s such a vibrant, sweet and honest place, I love it here. The past three months have been amongst the happiest (cobblers aside!). Did I mention I have now officially obtained my Masters degree (cue cheering sound coming from here)? The letter from the University arrived a few weeks ago and made all those months of moaning and whingeing worth it. And because good things come in threes (or do they?), after a move and a dissertation under my belt, I also decided to get myself a new job! I started this week and it’s been fantastic so far.
I am going to sneak in a citrus recipe just when the best oranges are starting to disappear from UK shops. Truth be told, I had this post half-ready to be published for weeks, so the ice cream you see in the pictures was actually prepared when bloood oranges were all over the place and sweet lemons also made an appearance (read David Lebovitz demystifying the confusion between sweet lemons and bergamots). The citrus I chose below are a combination of what I had available. Clementines and grapefruit would also work well, just ensure the quantity of fruit puree is not too bitter or acidic. If you have too much pureed citrus compared to the remaining ingredients, you might end up with an ice cream with ice crystals.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk and zest to the boil, turn off the heat immediately and leave to infuse and cool down. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until creamy and pale. Slowly pour the milk in the bowl and whisk. Pour the mixture back in the saucepan and thicken over a low heat. Keep stirring until it coats the back of a wooden spoon, then turn off the heat and leave to cool.
In a food processor (or blender), add citrus flesh and cream and whizz until smooth. Add to the cool milk and egg mixture, stir and place in the fridge. When cold, churn in your ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Just before switching off the machine, put it the dark chocolate, chopped into shrapnels. Pour the ice cream in a freeze-proof container and firm up before serving.