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RECIPES > Royal Ice Cream

Show: Gastronomic Georgian England

Food historian, Ivan Day, has updated this ice cream recipe for modern day use. He points out that “Eighteenth century eggs were smaller than ours, so I have reduced the number. However, you will note that the number of eggs is still large compared to a modern ice cream recipe. This is important for this particular recipe, as it gives it a ‘rococo richness’, if you like a real taste of the eighteenth century.”

Here’s the original recipe from Frederick Nutt’s 1789 The Complete Confectioner: Take the yolks of ten eggs and two whole eggs; beat them up well with your spoon; then take the rind of one lemon, two gills of syrup, one pint of cream, a little spice, and a little orange flower water; mix them all well and put them over the fire, stirring them all the time with your spoon; when you find it grows thick take it off, and pass it through a sieve; put it into a freezing pot, freeze it, and take a little citron , and lemon and orange peel with a few pistachio nuts blanched; cut them all and mince them with your ice before you put them in your moulds.

Try Ivan Day’s updated version:

To make the syrup
A half-cup (125 mls) of water
Three quarters of a cup (125 gms) sugar

Bring the water to the boil and remove from the heat. Stir in the sugar until fully dissolved without heating it any further.

To make the ice cream
1 and a quarter cups (300 mls) of syrup as made above
8 raw egg yolks and 1 whole egg (medium)
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Two and a half cups (600 mls) light cream
2 tablespoons (30 mls) orange flower water*
One 1-inch length of cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon full of finely chopped candied citron peel
1 tablespoon full of finely chopped candied lemon peel
1 tablespoon full of finely chopped orange peel
1 tablespoon full of finely chopped blanched pistachio nuts

Lightly whip the egg yolks and egg and put them with the syrup, cream, grated lemon, orange flower water and cinnamon into a saucepan. Gently heat while stirring constantly. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove from the heat when the custard starts to coat the spoon. When cool, take out the cinnamon and give the custard a good whirl in a blender and put in the fridge to get really cold. When it is really cold make it into an ice cream in an ice cream machine. Stir in the candied peels and pistachios when the mixture is at ice cream consistency. Serve or store in the freezer.

*You can find orange flower water at Middle Eastern markets or in the imported food section of many grocery stores. You can also find it in the cosmetics section of many health food stores, including Whole Foods.

© Ivan Day 2005