I was sitting at work during my lunch break, idly reading through blogs when I found a SHF entry on Grab Your Fork. Oh no! It's Sugar High Friday? Already?? I consider myself to be pretty good at keeping up with SHF and IMBB dates, so I was disappointed with myself that I hadn't even heard about this one. I know it must have been coming up, but.....oops! Bugger!
In fact, double bugger because whipping up something sugary and citrussy that evening really didn't fit in with my long-established plans to sit back and giggle relentlessly at the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals. Hmmm...whatever I chose to make had to be very quick and easy.
Those who know me know that I'm am Eurovision crazy. Krayzee! It's my life-long dream to be in the real audience of the contest one day before I die. Although if they keep being held in difficult places like Ukraine and Turkey, that dream may not eventuate! I love everything about Eurovision; the frocks, the poncy dance moves, the ubiquitous piano accordians and bagpipes, the nonsensical lyrics sung in accented-English by countries who really shouldn't, the blatantly political voting system (Greece: "We award 12 points to Cyprus....again!"), Terry Wogan's ascerbic commentary, and their rampant inability to sing any song remotely in tune. I have every Eurovision song from the last 6 years on my iPod, and yes, my friends think I'm insane. The semi-finals were a beauty this year; we had accordians galore, dancing blokes in puffy shirts, dresses that threatened to pop right off and others that were whipped off by the poncy blokes in puffy shirts, sign-language, YODELLING with cowbells (!) and even a granny in a wheelchair playing the drums! You just can't get any better than that. Finals are tomorrow night and I've planned a party. I can't wait!
So, what could I whip up that wouldn't interfere with my viewing? Icecream! Specifically, the lemon icecream in Nigella's books made with whipped cream and which doesn't need an icecream maker. Perfect! I've made it once before and remembered how damn simple and tasty it is; very tangy but very rich. All you do is zest and juice some lemons or limes and leave them to sit with some icing sugar for a while. I chose mainly limes and decided to add about a handful of Thai basil leaves to this mixture, because I liked the idea of basil and lime (I think I've had that combination before in a sorbet...) and also because I was already using the basil in my dinner (I made my own pesto!).
During a break between songs (just before the Norwegian cock-rockers with lipstick and 80s heavy-metal permed hair came on. Brilliant!) I came down and whipped up some cream then folded it into the lime juice mixture. Then I threw it into the freezer. And that's it. Simple lime and basil icecream, that takes all of 10 minutes to make, and tastes wonderful. And doesn't interfere with your vitally important tv viewing!!
Read on for the recipe:
No churn Lime and Thai Basil icecream
Based on Nigella's assiette au citron.
Juice of 3 lemons (or limes)
Zest of 2 lemons (or limes. Or any combination of the two)
Handful Thai basil leaves (or normal basil)
125g icing (powdered) sugar
Stir together the juice, zest and basil with the icing sugar and let steep for 30 minutes. Then whip cream til soft-peak stage, and whisk in the sweented lime/lemon juice, zest and all (though I prefer to strain the zest out as it's not so nice to chew through a whole lot of zest in a scoop of icecream). Turn into a shallow container and freeze til set, letting it ripen in fridge for half an hour or so before serving.