Walnut brown bread ice cream
by ratio: one-third of sugary crumb to two-thirds finest quality store-bought vanilla custard or alternatively try the no cook vanilla ice cream on the home page?
My quest for old-fashioned flavours in modern times fulfilled and research for the perfect walnut brown bread ice cream led me back to my grandmothers recipe note-book. There was a bread strike which lead to a shortage in the late 70’s in the UK. My Mother made Irish soda bead and Farles yet one of my prevalent flavour recollections of the time is for the wonderful walnut brown bread ice cream ….. from ‘bloomers’?
Nowadays we are blessed with a plethora of artisan bakers, particularly in local markets and returning to original staff of life stuff.
The bread for this recipe is better dry and slightly stale, slices left to the air overnight. Your choice of a good quality whole meal bread and a handful of chopped walnuts will make a good substitute if you are unable to source a walnut brown loaf.
A Cheffie trick is to use Demerara sugar cubes, often served with coffee in restaurants. Crush them in a bag with a rolling-pin so as they produce ‘rustic’ little uneven crunchy bits though I pulse the dried bread in a food processor to less than pea sized pieces. Laborious but doable by hand.
Spread the crumbs evenly on a baking sheet, lightly grill or oven bake until the crumbs are a rich golden brown discard anything burnt. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the crunchy sugar, shake together to blend toffee toasty crunchy bits and leave to cool.
Lightly oil and line a loaf tin with plastic wrap. Reserve some of the sugary crumb to dress the top or dress your plates.
Simply fold the remaining crumbs and custard together before transferring to a freezer-proof container and freeze for 4-6 hours.
To serve: remove from the freezer and slice with a warm knife (jug of hot water does the trick).
If working under time pressure, put the slices onto a non stick tray and return the ice cream to the freezer. Dress your plate and jenga stack the ice cream and dress with the remaining sugary crunchy crumb.