Archive for September, 2006
It was all about cups in Dingle yesterday. First we were visited in the shop by the West Kerry Under-12 girls, who won their final, most convincingly by all accounts. Congratulations to them!
There were great crowds to witness it, and it was wonderful to see the excitement in the kids, especially those involved in Dingle rugby.
One can only hope that some of them who held the cup and had their photographs taken with the players will be stars in the future…
It was a lesson in grass-roots marketing. There will be many people, especially the younger ones, who will remember this as a special occasion, and it certainly will give rugby a boost in the area.
Imagine my surprise when I stopped by the production today to take care of some bits and pieces, and there was Wiebke, our baker extraordinaire (and my brother’s partner), with a couple of freshly baked cakes for the shops.
She is three days past her due date, but there is no stopping her! Hopefully very soon I will be able to post some baby photos of my new niece or nephew…
In other news, the flags have gone up very late in support of Kerry and their encounter with Mayo in the All Ireland Final. Maybe it’s due to disappointment over not meeting Dublin or just general complacency given the result of the 2004 final, but the lack of excitement has been quite pronounced.
Still, there is a small buzz growing around the place – a slowly building sense of expectation. I plan to be there in Croke Park, but I would be very surprised if the final is as easy as it was the last time we met Mayo…
Some time ago, I stopped into Bubble Brothers asking for Marsala wine, which was ridiculously hard to find in this country (it’s a great dessert wine used for tiramisu, zabaglione, etc.). They told me loads of chefs had been asking for it, but they didn’t stock it.
This week, I found myself in the English Market in Cork, so I chanced stopping by again. I was most delighted that they had brought it in and now stock it. Thanks, guys! (By the way, they also have an interestingÂ blog).
Since I was surrounded by lots of wine and wanted to make the most of it, I perused the champagne section for a rose, which I had wanted to try in sorbet for a while and had promised as a birthday present for Lady K.
They were all sold out except one brand - Fleury. This champagne is made from 100% pinot noir grapes, and since it was a brut, I was hoping it wouldn’t be sickly sweet in the sorbet.
Today we opened the two bottles I brought back, and the champagne has wonderful flavour – it wasn’t too sweet at all. It has the added value of being not only organic, but biodynamic, although it doesn’t trumpet the fact on the front of the bottle. Apparently it was the first champagne certified by Demeter.
I finished making the pink champagne sorbet this evening (no, we didn’t drink it all!). If you want to try it, use the recipe I gave here and substitute pink champagne for the Dom Perignon. Just make sure the pink champagne you choose is not too sweet!
We’re all a bit tired in the world of ice cream after our end-of-season staff party, which we held in Killarney last night.
I won’t embarrass everyone with lots of photos, but here are three. My apologies to the many people not included…
It’s an amazing thing in this business how the team shrinks and swells depending on the time of year.
It’s shrinking now, for sure. Quite a few are heading back to college (and best of luck to them), others will stay on, and we will have half the number within a few weeks.
That is why it’s good to get the whole team together for one last bash…
Thanks a million, everyone!
It’s wonderful heading into autumn, because it brings up a whole new interesting set of flavour possibilities.
My last post was about blackberries, and yesterday I had occasion to wander around my back garden for the first time in ages.
There, on the little apple trees planted by my landlady, were the most beautiful and tasty apples.
It didn’t take much to put apple and blackberry together – those two fruits are made for each other, and I immediately went making ice cream…
If you have access to both fruits, here’s a recipe that yields a very cream dessert…
Murphys Blackberry and Apple Ice Cream
1 cup Sugar
5 Egg Yolks
1 3/8 Cups Cream
1 1/8 Cups Milk
Juice of half a lemon
What to do:
- Make the blackberry coulis (recipe here)
- Peel and core the apple, and blend together with the lemon juice and coulis as soon as you have strained the latter (it’s more liquid when hot, which will make things easier). Refrigerate until cool.
- Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale yellow.
- Bring the milk to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
- Beat the milk into the eggs and sugar in a slow stream.
- Pour the mixture back into pan and place over low heat.
- Stir until the custard thickens (around 60C).
- Allow the custard to cool.
- Whip the cream until you have soft peaks. Do not over-whip!
- Fold in the custard and blackberry-apple coulis.
- Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, or cover and place in the freezer.
Notes: 1. You can add a bit of cinnamon or vanilla if it’s to your taste.
2. To pasteurise the eggs, heat the custard to 73C and keep at that temperature for three minutes. Use a cooking thermometer, though, and keep stirring! If the custard goes any higher than 76C, the eggs will scramble. Immediately cover and place in the freezer until cool.
The blackberry season in Dingle hasn’t been great. I don’t know if the last month has been too wet, but so many of the prime picking areas are less than inspiring.
However, there are blackberries to be had, and one great thing to do with them is to make a blackberry coulis. This is basically a sauce that you can serve with desserts, and it’s wonderful over ice cream.
Murphys Blackberry Coulis Recipe
250 g fresh blackberries
25 g sugar
25 ml lemon juice
What to do:
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan.
2. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it doesn’t dry out (the moisture from the berries should prevent this).
3. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree.
4. Pass through a sieve, using a spoon or spatula to force through everything but the seeds.
Note: I served it over vanilla ice cream (see photo right), and it’s a tasty dessert. I got the tower shape simply from cutting away the cardboard from one of our mini tubs and inverting the ice cream…
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