If you don´t like cake, or stodgy puddings, a great alternative at Christmas is ice cream. To me there is something very decadent, almost naughty, about eating ice cream in the depths of winter. Of course, if you live somewhere that Christmas falls in the middle of summer, then it´s even more perfect.
We´ll be eating this not as an alternative to pudding, but as well as! I´ll serve it with my Light Christmas Pudding and Boozy Fruits….and who knows, a few mince pies may sneak onto the table too.
It´s very easy to prepare, and can obviously made ahead of the Big Day. It´s another Delia Smith´s Christmas recipe, which I have tweaked a little over the years.
The night before you want to make the ice cream, soak about 100g of your favourite mixed candied peel (chopped) and raisins, plus some glace cherries in about 6 tablespoons of rum or your favourite liqueur and stir in 3 tablespoons of honey. I also used dried apricots and cranberries – it´s up to you!
For the ice cream, using an electric whisk, beat 4 egg yolks with 100g of caster sugar until pale. Grate about 75g of creamed coconut into 400ml of double or whipping cream and heat it gently until the coconut has melted. Stir over the egg mixture while whisking (it should thicken a little, but don´t worry if it doesn´t) then when it has cooled a little stir in 200ml of thick, creamy, Greek yogurt and add about a teaspoon of vanilla essence (optional). Finally stir in the fruit and alcohol with honey and pour into a 1litre pudding basin. Cover with a lid or a few layers of foil and freeze.
When it is about half frozen (it took about 8 hours in my very packed freezer) spoon the mixture out into a bowl and mix it gently to distribute the fruit which will have sunk to the bottom, then pack it back into the pudding basin. Cover, freeze and forget about it until you are ready to serve.
This ice cream stays fairly soft, so you can turn it out and serve it immediately. I usually hold a hot wet tea towel around the bowl for a few seconds before turning it out. It doesn´t look quite as pretty in the photo today as it will on the Big Day on a beautiful plate and drizzled with boozy fruit.