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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Saturday, May 21, 2005

SHF: No-churn Lime & Thai Basil icecream

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
425mls cream.

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.


  • oooh,

    I love Semi fredo!

    I made an espresso and coconut one it was Awesome, I will have to try this one next!

    By Blogger eat stuff, at 5/22/2005 01:31:00 am  

  • Niki, I love ice-cream. I do have an ice-cream maker, but the thought of making ice-cream that needs neither the ice-cream maker, nor being beaten several times while freezing is something I have to try.

    By Blogger Ana, at 5/22/2005 10:58:00 am  

  • hiya Niki
    This looks extremely easy!! And wow, I never thought of having herbs in ice-cream. Lime & basil looks like an intersting combinationa. I will have to try this out so I can use up all the lemons in my fridge! I love the idea of the non-involvement of an ice-cream machine since I don't have one.

    By Blogger pinkcocoa, at 5/22/2005 11:32:00 am  

  • hi niki, wow interesting recipe, dont have an icecream maker so this looks like one i can try some day! cant wait for the picture!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/22/2005 12:45:00 pm  

  • Yum!

    I have a whole bag of lemons in the fridge so I'll have to try this one out. And I love the non-churn factor. *sigh* Maybe I will have to end up buying a Nigella Lawson cookbook =P

    By Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop), at 5/22/2005 06:26:00 pm  

  • Hi Niki. I love herbs in desserts. I just had an Apple-Lychee sorbet with rosemary that was just wonderful. Great recipe!

    By Blogger Nic, at 5/23/2005 05:43:00 am  

  • Sounds really good, and I'm glad it didn't interfere in your evening plans. :) Of course, I wasn't too surprised, after my two emails to you, that you would already have the photo up by the time I got here. Good Work!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/23/2005 09:09:00 am  

  • Niki, I had no idea you were a eurovision fan! That's something you share with a whole lot of people, many of them in my very close vicinity :) Sweden truly sucked this year (we had a weird internal voting on who to send, and for some reason.. we did it all wrong) but oh well. It's still fun! :)

    By Blogger Anne, at 5/24/2005 02:15:00 am  

  • What a gorgeous, easy recipe - I'm impressed!

    Thanks so much for sharing it and for joining in on SHF - glad you made it, even at the last minute!

    By Blogger Jennifer, at 5/25/2005 03:09:00 am  

  • ha ha, we have been holding eurovision parties here in Germany too, for the last 3 or 4 years, it IS so much fun. But what do you mean with "difficult places like Ukraine and Turkey"?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/10/2005 06:39:00 pm  

  • Hande - I mean more difficult to get to from Australia, than the 24 hour trip to London or Paris. Add on a few more international flights, stopovers and hours waiting around at terminals, and it's almost a 3 day trip to get anywhere other than the major European cities from here. It's still seen as 'the big trip' when an Aussie goes to Europe.

    By Blogger Niki, at 6/11/2005 12:03:00 am  

  • Oh, and very expensive too!

    By Blogger Niki, at 6/11/2005 12:04:00 am  

  • Hurrah for blogs!
    I was just having a quick web snoop to see if I could find Nigella's easy lemon icecream recipe after seeing her recent show, but not catching the exact ingredients.

    I've made the raspberry ripple from her Forever Summer book already and would say to anyone thinking of buying an icecream maker, think twice! I found the 'hard' work is in making the egg custard and when you make it that way, it doesn't freeze in crystals anyway, so you can be a bit negligent in stirring it every few hours. (I made another flavour that day using a tub of readymade custard and that DID go crystally, despite a good few stirs).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/25/2005 08:14:00 pm  

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