Friday, January 13, 2006

better than ice cream?

Ok, I've been wanting to post this since Chrismukkah because it's one of those little secrets I wanna share. The picture is awful I know - the white blob is what we're talking about, and then that's Marion's lovely pudding, and my new shirt.

Anyway, Leche Merengada is just one of the tastiest and refreshingest things ever. It seems really classy somehow and is perfect for the end of a massive meal when ice cream might be a bit too much but sorbet just wouldn't work with the pudding. It's from Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons which we got out from the library again. I fell in love with that book all over again and this is just one of the reasons why.

Leche Merengada just means "meringued milk" and it's easier too than a custard based ice cream. You don't need an ice cream maker or nothing. So if it's hot where you are trust me on this little secret and get to it.

425 ml milk
150 ml runny cream (not thickened)
150g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp brandy
3 egg whites
ground cinnamon

1. Put the milk, cream and 100g of the sugar into a saucepan with the lemon and cinnamon stick. Bring to just under the boil, remove from the heat and let it infuse for about 40 minutes. Strain through a sieve and add the brandy.

2. Whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff. Fold this into the cream and milk mixture - it will seem impossible to incorporate, but don't worry, as it will all get beaten together during the freezing process. Now put it into the freezer and just beat it with electric beaters or a food processor every hour or two until it looks good. Maybe 4 - 6 or more hours? Or use an ice-cream machine if ya got one.

3. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving or if you're feeling really hip the book suggests you can serve it with a shot of iced espresso over the top for a "blanco y negro."


Az said...

hey est,

i made this on tuesday, ate it on thursday at pre-antony picnic. it's so yummy... the infusion makes it taste much better than normal vanilla icecream, all zesty. i put cardamom pods in as well. only problem was, my food processor decided to spring a leak just adfter i'd added the milk to the eggwhites, meaning spillage all over the loor, bench, etc... i ended up adding more cream to what was left and freezing and stirring it a lot more. pretty damn good, though.

esther said...

az, i'm so glad you tried it and liked it...leche merengada always makes me so happy to eat and people get strangely fixated on it which i like. (damn those food processors that aren't really watertight.)

Az said...

"all over the loor"... one day i will learn to spell when i write comments.