easy peasy

When it comes to desserts it’s no secret around here that I have a serious weakness for icecream, well all frozen treats, really. I don’t discriminate. Gelato, sorbet, granita, semi-freddo – I love them all.  A browse through the icecream & sorbet photoset on my flickr will attest to my love as will a quick scan through the dessert section of the mess has become the stonesoup recipe index. But in more recent times I know I’ve been writing about my icecream adventures less and less.

The reason for this is two fold. Firstly, it dawned on me a while ago that most people aren’t as icecream obsessed as myself to fork out a considerable amount of cash to invest in a kitchen appliance that takes up a fair bit of space and is pretty singular in it’s purpose. To keep banging on about recipes that most people didn’t have the equipment for seemed, well, a little self indulgent.

And then there’s the irony that my own beloved icecream machine isn’t really working as well as it should. The internal compressor is still solid so it has the freezing power. But for some reason, these days the churning mechanism stops itself when the mixture has only just begun to think about freezing. This means I end up spending a lot of time churning by hand which still gives good results but could be a whole lot more time efficient.

For me, the best thing to come out of all this icecream-machine sadness is that I’ve begun to seek out frozen desserts that have perfect combination of that lovely creamy silky melt-in-the-mouth texture of icecream without requiring the hardware to achieve the results.

Back in September, when Spring was in the air, I shared with you my rich dark chocolate icecream recipe. Something that is still on high rotation in my kitchen. Thankfully it just requires a bit of melting and mixing things together and a good, uninterrupted eight hour spell in the freezer to deliver a choc-aholics dream. This week, however, I’ve developed a recipe that ticks the box of not requiring an icecream machine and has the added bonus of being pretty much instantaneous to pull together. Yay Jules.

It’s the type of dessert you can do at the seriously last minute. Something you can rely on to please the crowd. Something that you can whizz up when you get home from work at 7.15pm and have guests arriving at 7.30pm.

Between you and me, if my experience last Monday is anything to go by, those vital fifteen minutes are well worth spending on whizzing together some frozen fruit, sugar and cream and popping it in the freezer before anyone arrives. After you have passed a very pleasant evening sharing some wine, putting your guests to work stirring the risotto, having a good old laugh and enjoying the fruits of your combined labours,  you can surprise everyone by announcing grandly that even though it is Monday night that there is dessert. And better yet it’s relatively healthy if anyone’s up for it.

raspberry gelato
serves 4

You have a few choices with this dessert. I tend to whip up a batch as soon as I get home from work and then pop it in the freezer to firm up a little while my guests are eating main course. It also gives me a chance to pop my serving dishes in the freezer so everything is lovely and crisp when it comes time to serve.

If you’re more in a ‘just in time’ frame of mind you can leave it until just before you’re ready for dessert. Just whizz it all together and serve straight from the food processor. You could even enlist your guests to help with the process. The texture will be a lot softer, more like soft serve icecream, but no less delicious.

Of course when it comes to fruit – raspberries are only just the beginning. It’s pretty much up to your imagination. I’m toying with the idea of freezing some fresh figs if only I could stop eating them long enough to get them frozen. The only thing you’ll need to do is adjust the amount of sugar to balance the natural sweetness of your chosen fruit. Raspberries are pretty tart so if you’re using sweeter fruit I’d start with about ½ the amount of sugar suggested below and add to taste.

The cream is really optional here. It adds a lovely creaminess but if you’re after a fresher and more waistline friendly(!) option by all means leave it out but you might need to play around with the sugar levels.

300g (10oz) frozen raspberries
1/3C (approx 70g or 2 1/2oz) sugar or to taste
1/2C double cream (48% milk fat minimum)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until you have a smooth creamy mixture that looks like soft gelato. Taste and add extra sugar if you think it needs it.

Freeze for a few hours or enjoy pronto.

Note. If your raspberries are really solid frozen it may take a while for them to defrost enough to puree with the sugar and cream. You will have a grainy mixture to begin with but keep going and soon it will all be gelato heaven.

SBS snippet

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  • I recently made a berry frozen yogurt and am excited to experiment further with my ice cream maker. Raspberries are my favorite–can’t wait to try this! Great that you can make this even without the machine!

  • I do something similar from Jill Dupliex’s Lighten up…freeze whole very ripe bananas then when they’re fairly solid chuck them in the food processor and go until it resembles the texture of ice cream. Voila! Done! I also like to add some really good quality cocoa to make a choc-nana version..

  • I am banned from buying any more kitchen appliances, so homemade frozen desserts and Granita and Semifreddo here, but this looks great and do-able without hefty purchases and extra required storage space :)

  • kaysey
    why didn’t I think of yoghurt instead of the cream.. brilliant idea thanks

    thanks ricki

    loving the idea of the chocolate banana version. yay

    I know how you feel. sometimes it’s good to have constraints to have to work around

  • yay jules
    thankyou for this, I don’t have an icecream maker and space says no to one while we stay in this wonderful, central and TINY flat.
    It looks (can i say this without sounding crass) dreamy but i think thats also alot to do with your photo.

  • If I didn’t know your blog so well, and know the quality of your recipes I’d dismiss this out of hand. Can it really be that easy? What a lovely, lovely idea. Am going to have to try out this weekend I think.

  • pleasure rachel. totally understand the space thing.

    I know if does sound too good to be true. but glad to hear you’re willing to trust me ;)

    hope your mojo comes back soon.

    thanks renee

  • I loved your blog post so much I’ve included it in my Weekly top 15 recipe posts on twitter!

    Well done, keep you the great work and I look forward to seeing more of these wonderful recipes come swimming down my tweetstream.

    Happy cooking,


    • zahra
      I know I know. It doesn’t seem like it will work – but with the power of a trusty food processor and a little cream it’s really that good. of course the seeds keep the texture a little on the crunchy side but I love that

  • Noticed you have a requirement for double cream. Would substituting American heavy cream, which is slightly less milk fat by percent, work?

  • Found this recipe through My First Kitchen (http://www.myfirstkitchen.net/blog/2009/4/6/raspberry-gelato.html) and while I loved making it and tasting and sharing, there is one thing I don’t like about this: the seeds :( You say you like them because it keeps it crunchy, but I just can’t stand the feeling of those little buggers that refuse to be chewed and feel weird on my tongue. I’m going to try blueberries next so I don’t have this problem. Thanks for giving us the basic recipe to branch out from!

  • Made this recipe with blackberries and it was awesome! The only change I’d make is the same as Alex…too many seeds.

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