Uh-oh… is anyone else in the southern hemisphere noticing that the sun is rising a little later, and that there’s a chill to the air that makes it very difficult to get out of bed/out of a hot shower of a morning? I’m pretty miff about winter approaching because I wasn’t quite done with summer yet – I’m convinced we are being cheated out of a few weeks of my favourite season *shakes an outraged fist at the powers that be*.
To make the most out of this last little dribble of summer sunshine, let’s eat as much ice-cream as we can fit, or more if possible (when it comes to ice-cream-eating, I tend to be an overachiever). I saw Aarti Sequeira making this on her show Aarti Party and it immediately appealed to me and I just HAD to try it; firstly because it’s that extra-rich, dense Indian version of ice-cream, kulfi – kind of like frozen fudge. This is not the kind of treat to serve to diabetics (yay! more for the rest of us). And secondly because it’s made with my absolute favourite – Earl Grey tea (watch this space for the Earl Grey cupcake recipe…). The slight astringency from the tea makes it more refreshing, and prevents it from becoming completely sickly-sweet.
I opted not to make it in the form of “pops” like traditional kulfi because that way you don’t have to worry about portion control. It’s easier to say “I’ll have just one bowlful” than “I’ll have just one little popsicle” because then you can pile it on. Or eat it directly out the tub (saves on doing dishes) (which saves on water) (so eating too much ice-cream is … good for the environment?)
If you really want to do it proper, form it into pops like Aarti did and sprinkle it with coarsely chopped pistachios, then talk with Peter Sellers’ Indian accent.
For a nice big bowl of tooth-achingly rich, sweet kulfi:
1 can (380g) evaporated milk (if you are going to be bad don’t do it by half-measures. Get the full-fat version) UPDATE: Most South African’s know this as Ideal Milk (Nestle’s brand name for it).
4 Earl Grey teabags*
1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
1 can (385g) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of cream*
This is an almost identical method to Aarti’s except mine is every so slightly easier – no straining required. Ice-cream should be a pleasure, not an effort.
Heat the evaporated milk over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges; when it’s hot, give it a whisk to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom. Turn the heat off, throw in the teabags, cover and let it steep for 30 minutes. This is just enough time for you to make yourself a fresh cuppa Earl Grey with a slice of lemon, and get started on a good story set in India… I’m thinking The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (one of my top 3 best books ever). The way it’s written somehow makes the kulfi taste more intense.
Just when you are really getting into the book (granted, it’s got a bit of back-and-forth in time vibe that makes it difficult to read in snippets) add all the other ingredients to the infused milk – whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour it into a suitable container, cover and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight – depends on how deep the layer of kulfi is. It will be rich, and creamy, and kind of sticky and melty (all that sugar! you can brush your teeth twice afterwards).
Go make some immediately, before winter proper sets in. Then find a sunny spot, settle in, and put the book down because good ice-cream – especially when it could be your last ice-cream this summer – requires your undivided attention :-).
*this is kind of a note to self – I want to try this with chai teabags, also canned dessert cream so that all the ingredients are the shelf-stable pantry type. See how I just justified two more batches of ice-cream right there?
14/05/2013: Thanks Laladybug for trying out the Chai version! La used chai teabags and added plenty of ground cinnamon – it’s like milk tart and ice-cream had a baby which fell into a Chai Steamer from Mugg&Bean. And then we ate the drowned baby? It was delicious, despite the bad analogy 🙂