The idea for this recipe has been in the works for a while now. It started at Café Ish, when a bunch of bloggers went for All You Can Eat Ribs on a Wednesday night. The ribs were amazing but the highlight of the night for me was the Lemon Delicious that was served for dessert, with the intriguing hit of lemon myrtle and served with a wattle seed ice cream. Then one afternoon when the girls and I were wandering around Cabramatta, eating a lot and buying cheap crockery, I found a small garden store and sitting outside was a beautiful Meyer lemon tree, which I then bought, and named ‘Sparky’.
A few weeks after that, Karen and I were killing time before an event and we ended up in the T2 shop in the QVB. I was looking for giant teacups but they had sold out, and so I got to browsing tea instead. As soon as I had one whiff of the ambrosial French Earl Grey, I knew I had to buy it, and what’s more, I knew I had to make ice cream with it. To go with a Meyer lemon delicious pudding. And so here we are, finally. And I couldn’t be happier with the combination of flavours!
It’s hard to describe the intense, ambrosial aroma of the tea. It’s a delightful twist on a traditional Earl Grey, but with rose, sunflowers and hibiscus with hints of fruits like apricots, peaches and of course citrus joining the party. It’s like a garden party on a sunny spring day. The taste of the ice cream itself is much more subtle because the cream rounds out the flavours. I adapted my favourite vanilla ice cream recipe, and steeped the tea leaves in the warm cream for about 30 minutes before straining and continuing on with the recipe. I can imagine this ice cream being delicious with other desserts too. Maybe a rich chocolate cake, or anything to do with summer stonefruit. Of course if you can’t find French Earl Grey, this would also be delicious with regular Earl Grey tea as well.
I’ve made Lemon Delicious puddings before but I wasn’t quite happy with the texture last time, and there was way too much butter. This time I used recipe from taste.com.au which worked out beautifully, with a light-as-air sponge layer on top giving way to a custardy pudding below. It was a real thrill to use lemons from my own tree. The original recipe called for Splenda, oddly enough, but I used sugar, cutting down the amount by ¼ cup because Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter than regular ones. It would also be interesting to try using other citrus in this dessert, or even a combination of lemon and orange zest and juice.
Also, don’t forget to enter my competition to WIN a Collector’s First issue of the magazine I designed, GourmetRabbit plus a year’s online subscription to gourmetrabbit.com!! Entries close soon, just comment and tell me what is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten!
French Earl Grey Ice Cream
Makes 1 litre
Adapted from ‘The Perfect Scoop’ by David Lebovitz
• 1 cup milk
• ¾ cups sugar
• 2 cups heavy cream
• Pinch salt
• 2 tablespoons T2 French earl grey tea leaves
• 6 large egg yolks
• ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of cream and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the tea leaves to the warm milk. When just boiling, remove from the heat, cover and allow to steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Pour the warm cream mixture through a strainer into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the mixture back into the saucapan.
Stir constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula/spoon. Strain the custard into the cream. Add the vanilla extract and whisk until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Lemon Delicious Puddings
Adapted from taste.com.au
• 150g butter, melted
• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind (I used Meyer lemons)
• ½ cup lemon juice (I used Meyer lemons)
• 1 cup sugar
• ¾ cup self raising flour
• 1 cup milk
• 4 eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease six 1 cup capacity oven proof dishes. Place butter, lemon rind, lemon juice, sugar, flour, milk and egg yolks in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
In a separate small bowl, beat eggwhites using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold a quarter of the eggwhite in to the lemon mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining eggwhite.
Spoon mixture into prepared dishes. Place dishes in a large baking tray and pour boiling water carefully into the baking dish until halfway up the sides of the smaller dish. (I open the oven, put the baking tray onto the oven rack and then pour the boiling water in to avoid having to carry a heavy tray filled with hot water). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and just set. Serve warm with French Earl Grey ice cream.