Sweet balsamic berry ice-cream

    50 min

    Capture the flavour of summer's bountiful fruit basket to enjoy later in the year with this luscious yet reduced-fat ice-cream. Made with a light sugar syrup rather than a thick egg custard, it has a fresh flavour that is highlighted with a splash of balsamic vinegar. The ice-cream is perfectly partnered with a berry compote.

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    Serves: 6 

    • 450 g (1 lb) strawberries
    • 250 g (9 oz) raspberries
    • 200 g (7 oz) blueberries
    • 2 tsp best-quality balsamic vinegar
    • 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar
    • 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream, lightly
    • whipped
    • sprigs of fresh mint to decorate
    • Strawberry compote
    • 450 g (1 lb) strawberries
    • 1–2 tsp caster sugar
    • balsamic vinegar
    • black pepper

    Prep:50min  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. Place the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Press through a fine nylon sieve into a large measuring jug to remove the pips and blueberry skins. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, then chill for 30 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, place the sugar and 150 ml (5 fl oz) of water in a small saucepan over a high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, without stirring, and boil for 5 minutes until a light syrup forms. Pour into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool, then stir in the puréed berry mixture and leave to chill until required.
    3. Add the whipped cream to the berry mixture in the bowl, and fold in. Pour into an ice-cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Then transfer to a freezerproof container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. If you do not have an ice-cream machine, pour the mixture straight into a large freezerproof container and freeze for 1 hour or until set round the edges. Beat until the mixture is smooth, then return to the freezer. Freeze for 30 minutes, then beat again. Repeat the freezing and beating several times more until the ice-cream has a smooth consistency, then leave it to freeze for at least 2 hours.
    4. To make the strawberry compote, slice the berries into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with sugar to taste, then add a splash of balsamic vinegar and a little freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then chill until ready to serve.
    5. Transfer the ice-cream to the fridge 20 minutes before serving to allow it to soften. Scoop into individual bowls and top with the strawberry compote. Decorate with sprigs of mint and serve.

    Some more ideas

    For a vibrant yellow tropical ice-cream, peel, stone and slice 2 ripe mangoes and 2 ripe peaches. Place in a food processor and purée, then follow the recipe as above, substituting 1 tbsp fresh lime juice for the balsamic vinegar. Serve with a selection of sliced fresh tropical fruit, including papaya, mango and kiwi fruit.

    Plus points

    Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries combine to make this dessert an excellent source of vitamin C, which has a vital role to play in repairing damaged tissues and in wound healing. Vitamin C also helps to maintain the immune system and is a powerful antioxidant, helping to prevent degenerative disease.

    Each serving provides

    C * folate

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