If you’re using a thermometer, the custard will curdle at about 82 ˚C, or just above, so stir it constantly and check the thickness. Remember, the pan base will be hotter than the top where you’re measuring temperature, so use common sense over the thermometer and be ready to take it off the heat when it hits 80˚C.
The scent of Tassie’s native pepperberry adds a lovely note to luscious ice-cream. You can make the basic custard, called an ‘anglaise’ in French, in a double boiler, which helps ensure you don’t overcook it.
- 400 ml milk
- 100 ml cream
- 75 g glucose syrup
- 4 egg yolks
- 125 g caster sugar
- 12 pepperberry leaves, pounded lightly in a mortar to bruise
- 1 tsp ground dried pepperberries, for sprinkling (see note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling/freezing time 30 min in a machine then a few hours in freezer
1. Mix the milk and cream in a small saucepan with the glucose and the bruised pepperberry leaves. Heat the milk over high heat, stirring just a tad to dissolve the glucose, until just hot but not boiling then remove from the heat. Stand for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavour of the leaves to steep into the milk.
2. Reheat the milk until it's quite hot. While it heats, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl. Whisking continuously, slowly pour the hot milk onto the yolk mixture and whisk until well combined. Strain into a clean pan, then place over low-medium heat and cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, using the spoon to scrape the base of the pan so the custard doesn’t stick to the base of the pan. What you’re doing is lightly cooking the eggs, which will thicken your custard.
3. Strain again into a bowl placed over another bowl of ice and stand until cool, whisking occasionally. When cold, refrigerate until well chilled, then churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to the freezer for another couple of hours or until firm. It keeps well for a few days, but is best straight from the machine or eaten within a few hours.
Serve with a sprinkle of ground, dried pepperberry.
•Pepperberry and pepperberry leaves can be bought online and at speciality grocers. It is sometimes sold under the name mountain pepper, or mountain pepperleaf.
Photography by Scott Sinclair