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|Summer means swimming in the pool, relaxing in the spa, and inviting friends over to enjoy the warmer weather. To please both the kids and grown-ups, we've found two delicious sweet treats – watermelon popsicles, and chocolate, brandy and star anise ice cream created by River Cottage chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
These layered popsicles are mostly made with fruit, a few chocolate chips, and creamy coconut milk. So as long as you use good quality, ripe fruit, the flavours will be both delicious and refreshing for the kids. Makes 10.
3 1/2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
5 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, well shaken
6 medium kiwi fruits
1 tbsp mini chocolate chips
Add watermelon, 2 tbsp granulated sugar and lemon juice to a blender and blend until well pureed. Skim off foam then carefully pour into 10 popsicles molds, filling each about 2/3 full.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over tops then using a popsicle stick gently push down to immerse chips (push towards the sides so you can see them once frozen). Wipe sides clean as needed. Cover with the lid and insert popsicles sticks.
Freeze 3 1/2 hours. During last 30 minutes of popsicles freezing, whisk together coconut milk with 1 1/2 tbsp sugar until sugar has dissolved. Chill 30 minutes - you want it to be a nice pourable consistency after chilling, not too thick. If you find that it is, stir in 1 - 2 tbsp cold water to thin.
Remove popsicles from the freezer, remove lid and carefully pour a scant tablespoon of coconut milk into an even layer over the watermelon layer. Clean sides as necessary. Return to freezer, uncovered, and chill for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut tops from the kiwi fruit and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh while leaving the skins. Transfer kiwi fruit into a blender along with 2 tbsp granulated sugar. Pulse until well pureed. Force mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl using a rubber spatula to remove seeds. Chill kiwi fruit mixture for 30 minutes.
Remove popsicles from freezer and carefully pour about 1 tbsp kiwi fruit mixture over the coconut layer. Return to freezer and chill until popsicles are solid in about 2-3 hours.
To remove popsicles from molds, turn tray to the side and run plastic molds under warm water several seconds (don't let the water touch the kiwi portion at the top) then slowly pull from molds.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy
|Watermelon popsicles image via www.cookingclassy.com
River Cottage by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall courtesy of Bloomsbury
|Chocolate, brandy and star anise ice cream
A gorgeously grown-up ice cream, this mingles the fruity, bittersweet flavour of chocolate with warming star anise, a hint of orange and a sup of brandy. Serves 6–8
Ingredients3–5 star anise
200ml whole milk
300ml double cream
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
4 medium egg yolks
100g caster sugar
200g dark chocolate (70–75% cocoa solids), finely chopped
75ml cider brandy or calvados
| MethodUsing a pestle and mortar, bash the star anise to reduce to chunky bits. Tip into a pan with the milk, cream and orange zest. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the pan; add the pod too. Bring almost to a simmer, then set aside to infuse for 15 minutes.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until well combined. Strain the hot cream through a fine sieve on to the eggs and sugar, whisking all the time. Pour into a clean pan and cook gently, stirring, for a few minutes, until thickened. Don’t let it boil or it will spoil.
Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir gently until it has melted. Stir in the cider brandy, then strain through a sieve into a clean bowl. Lay a piece of cling film or baking parchment on the surface to stop a skin forming, then set aside to cool.
Churn the custard in an ice-cream maker until soft-set, then transfer to the freezer to freeze solid. (Alternatively, pour the mixture into a plastic container and freeze for about an hour, or until starting to solidify around the sides, then mash with a fork, mixing the frozen sides into the liquid centre.
Put it back in the freezer for another hour, and repeat at hourly intervals until soft-set, then let the ice cream freeze solid.)
Transfer the ice cream to the fridge 30 minutes before serving to soften a little.