Delicious Homemade Ice Creams ~ You Really Don't Need an Ice Cream Machine!

Yesterday I had a sudden ice cream sesh - at the end of October! I'm mad, me! 

It was inspired by a bag of cheap satsumas which I bought but didn’t know what to do with!  So I decided to see what sort of ice cream I could make using my basic method.

Ice cream is a great way to use up leftover bits and pieces and I have a way of making it that is very quick, easy, rich, smooth, creamy, delicious and doesn't need a machine or any mashing as it freezes. 

Have a Look Inside!
I have used this method as a professional chef for years and years (and years) and have written an book, appropriately named Luscious Ice Creams without a Machine which gives the no-churn ice cream recipe, why it works, tweaks and tricks when incorporating different ingredients and how to adjust the texture accordingly.  It includes more than 100 ice cream recipes plus recipes for ancillaries such as syrups, sauces, biccies, cones etc. and some serving suggestions.  Using this book you can easily go on to create delicious ice creams of your very own.

The eBook version of Luscious Ice Cream without a Machine is a lot less than 500ml of Ben & Jerry's and the paperback less than a litre!  And of course way cheaper than buying an ice cream machine.

I’m not a meany, however, here is the basic recipe direct from Luscious Ice Creams …, prepare to be unimpressed, at first!  

Directly from the book ...

No Churn Ice Cream Recipe 

500ml double cream - not the extra thick kind
200g condensed milk

~   Whisk the cream till it is very thick and looks like the picture (below) and then stop.  If you go too far it will become butter!
~   Fold in the condensed milk.
~   If it looks a little lumpy give in a very quick extra whisk to even things out.
~   Freeze.


If that's all you do you get an ice cream that is not exactly soft scoop but which does have a good texture once it’s been out of the freezer a few minutes. It has a pretty blah taste. I can sense your excitement from here but there’s even more, I urge you to read on. 

As I say there are all sorts of ways to make this ice cream really lush, some even include alcohol (!) but here are a couple of examples I made sponteaneously using this easy ice cream recipe.

Caramelised Satsuma Ice Cream

6 satsumas
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp water
250 ml double cream
100g condensed milk

~   Halve the satsumas through their equators, squeeze all the juice into one bowl and set aside.
~   Then scrape all the un-squozen bits of fruit still attached to the shells into a separate bowl.
~   In a pan over low heat stir together the sugar and the water till the sugar is dissolved and bring to a boil.  Don’t stir once it boils but swirl about a bit when it begins turning colour.
~   Boil to a deep golden brown watching carefully.
~   Immediately and carefully pour in the satsuma juice you have set aside. When adding liquid to caramel there is a lot of boiling and bubbling and the caramel hardens into lumps in the liquid. Don’t panic, just stir over a low heat till the caramel melts back into the juice.
~   When smooth add the little bits fruit from the second bowl and cook for a minute  before setting aside to cool completely.
~    Whisk the cream till thick. Fold in the condensed milk and then the satsuma mixture.  Give it a quick extra whisk to smooth things out.
~    Freeze.


When I served this I had another idea based on one I had about 15 years ago.  At that time I served a Seafood Mixed Grill and grilled halved lemons, cut side down to serve with it; pretty, impressive and delicious.  

So today I decided to do something similar with the remaining Satsuma I had saved to make the picture look pretty – I cut it in half and cooked it cut side down in a little butter and sugar till it was as you see in the picture. We drizzled the hot juice over the ice cream.  I’m so glad I can cook!


Bacon Jam Ice Cream!

This was just a quickie. When I was about to add the satsuma juice to the cream recipe (above) I just set a couple tablespoons of the cream and condensed milk mix and folded in 2 teaspoons of bacon jam from Eat 17.

My real man was too scared to try this, luckily for me - it was lovely!

Lovely, Lovely Vanilla including a Wonderful Thing!


Years ago my sister Maggie and I, with our then-husbands, owned a beachside hotel in Cornwall which had a sweetie shop. In this shop we sold 20 flavours of ice cream which was pretty gobsmacking in the 1980s. 

Although they were all popular, we generally found that ladies favoured Maple Walnut whilst gentlemen preferred the manly taste of Rum and Raisin. Children wanted Mint-Choc-Chip and teenagers, if you could get them to say anything, mumbled 'umm – Strawberry'. Senior citizens usually wanted 'plain', by which they meant vanilla, and told us their preference in tones of irritated amazement as if it was obvious that ice cream should be 'plain vanilla'. What was the world coming to?

The thing is; vanilla isn't plain at all, is it? A vanilla pod is the seed pod from a vanilla orchid, mainly vanilla planifolia from Central America, Mexico and Madagascar but occasionally other strains from Tahiti and Hawaii. It is, therefore, very exotic and sexy and is also delicious. 

It is exciting, therefore, that Taylor and Colledge “One of the most trusted names in vanilla for over a century.” sell a range of wonderful vanilla products and it is even more exciting that they have sent me some to try. Lucky, lucky me!

Their range, which is available from Waitrose, Ocado and Amazon comprises

Vanilla Beans aka Pods

Lovely, flexible pods the way they should be; dark, slightly oily looking, fragrant and a good length (apparently 6” is perfect! – I’m saying nothing). 


There are two important things you need to know about using vanilla beans/pods ...

1. The beans contain thousands of tiny black seeds which can easily be scraped from the pod by slitting it lengthwise carefully with a sharp knife and scraping the seeds into whatever you are making thus making it tastier and prettier.

Why not pin this so you can
easily find this post later?

2. If you use beans to flavour custard or cream or similar, whether or not you have scraped out the seeds, Do Not Throw It Away - rinse, and set aside somewhere airy till completely dry then store in a container of sugar to make vanilla sugar if you are that sort of a person or in a bottle of rum or brandy if you are that sort of person. 

If you make vanilla sugar then you can use it to make Vanilla Toast which is like Cinnamon Toast only even better! Speaking of vanilla sugar ...

Vanilla Dusting Sugar

This is, of course, the perfect sprinkly finish for cream cakes, pancakes, French Toast and so on. Taylor and Colledge’s dusting sugar has a slight golden hue because of the vanilla crushed into it.


It is also good mixed into soft butter and used to make Vanilla Toast (like Cinnamon Toast only even better!).

Vanilla Extract

Now this is very important, so concentrate - no pun intended!. Vanilla essence is almost always not vanilla extract; it is a chemically produced replica. I say “almost always” because occasionally it is a very intense concentrated extract. Anyway don’t risk it – use extract. I like to add a drip or two to my coffee, which I take black, whether or not I've already added a nip of Brandy!


Vanilla Paste

This is a useful product if you want vanilla seed specks in your dish, it is a kind of thick and syrupy extract. I am quite prone to making ice cream (and have even written a book on the matter here ~ Luscious Ice Creams without a Machine) and to get the lovely heady flavour I usually steep a vanilla pod in cream before proceeding with the recipe. Vanilla paste does the job faster, better and adds the little black specks of seeds which prove the dish is authentic!

… and a Really Wonderful Thing!!!

Vanilla Grinder

What a brilliant idea. I am still playing with this but already know that it is fab on soft fruits, the froth on cappuccino or hot chocolate, ice cream, trifles, mousse, the list is a long one.


Vanilla does not come cheap in fact it is the second most expensive spice in the world (saffron being the first) but a little goes a long way and it so enhances a dish that I think you will consider it money well spent if you add some to your store cupboard – it sure can help a leftover out!



10+ Tips to Help You Reduce Food Waste and Save Money

Well Food Waste has hit the fan again, hasn't it!

Tesco has revealed it generated almost 30,000 tonnes of food waste in the first six months of 2013 in a report by the BBC and in accordance with their Every Little Helps Slogan they have issued an infographic about not wasting food at home which gives some useful info …

how to reduced food waste and save money

… but not enough by a long thingy! I am not putting them down, really I’m not, but there is so very much more to be said!

The infographic is quite difficult to read so I am going to help you with it!

food waste tips, zero waste, delicious ideas for leftovers
Please pin to help stop
this stupid waste!
“The Average UK family wastes £700 on food each year.

Well not us!  I doubt we waste 700p on food each year. I have always been inspired when cooking by a little bit of this and a little bit of that and rarely waste a scrap.  

It is because of this tendency that I wrote my recently published book and as, apparently, October is National Self Promotion Month don’t blame me for mentioning Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers several times in this post!
Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers could potentially save you £700 and not only that – my ideas are not just to save money they are also creative and delicious.  The book tackles food waste and the waste of good eating opportunities!

“Onions - Don’t keep Onions in the fridge.  Store them in a brown paper bag in a cool and dark place.”
how not to waste onions, leftover onions, cooking onions

I have more to add to this including don’t store them with potatoes as they make each other go off! 

See here for The Best Way to Cook Onions, IMHO, and my leftovers cookbook for more info on storage plus ideas of what to do with leftovers, obviously!

leftover bread, how to store bread

“Bread - 1/3 of the baguettes we buy go to waste.  Turn them into breadcrumbs and store them in the freezer.”

Correct!  At least 19 more ideas for leftover bread in my book!  Here’s a recipe for Fried Bread Curry which, believe me, is delicious! 

leftover peppers, how to cook with peppers, fresh pepper recipes and ideas

“Peppers - Leave the seeds and stalks connected and keep a half used pepper in the fridge.  Alternatively chop it up and freeze.”

I agree with that!  Of course there are also sorts of dishes that benefit from a little bit of leftover pepper; tomato soups and salads, pizza, sandwiches etc.

how to avoid wasting salads

“Bagged Salad.  On average we waste half of what we buy.  Once opened store in an airtight container with a piece of tissue to make it last longer.” 

I don't quite agree with this. I open the bags slightly and allow to dry out a little then, if necessary very lightly dampen a piece of kitchen roll and lay it over the leaves.  Even better, buy the living leaves – they grow back.  

how not to waste milk, ideas for leftover milk, how to use up milk

“Milk - Make a smoothie with your frozen fruit to use up milk.  Or make a cheese sauce for leftover veg and freeze.”

Also how about add to mashed potato or let it go off and make cheese?

“Apples - We waste nearly 20% of the apples we buy.  Store in the fridge in original packaging or lightly tied bag.”
Ideas for leftover or too many apples, apple recipes

Well I would open the bag, get some air to them and store the in a cool dark cupboard or similar, making sure they are all in good condition (“one bad apple spoils the whole barrel” as  you well know) and not touching.  

I don’t think I’ve ever wasted an apple in my life  – there’s so many ways to use them up including the Cornish Apple Cribbly and Devonshire Apple Dappy recipes mentioned here  together with info on making apple sauce and 15 ways to use apple sauce.  There are 18 more ideas for leftover apples in Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers.

“Cucumber - Make your cucumber last by placing the stalk end in a mall container of water and standing in the fridge door.”

How to store cucumber, leftover cucumber, keep cucumber fresh

I don’t know if this works or not so have no comment. 

If you have no immediate plans for your cucumber and don’t want it to go off then try the recipe here for Lightly Pickled Cucumber, you'll have to scroll down a bit!

Leftover minced beef, leftover ground beef, recipes and ideas for leftover mince

“Mince Beef - Freeze your leftover lasagne or shepherd’s pie.”

Again, true enough.  If, however, you haven’t make a lasagne or Shepherd’s pie there are many other things you can do with minced beef, leftover or not – pastas, pies, sarnies, pizza, chilli etc. and so on.

how to use up grapes, leftover grapes, too many grapes

“Grapes - Around 20% of the grapes we buy are not eaten.  Freeze leftover grapes and use them as ice cubes.

There are ten more good ideas for using up grapes in Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers!
leftover bananas, over ripe bananas, bananas recipes and ideas

“Bananas - 1 in 10 bananas we buy goes to waste. Try adding to a vegetable curry or whizz and freeze for low calorie ice cream.”

Just for starters here’s a link for some more info on making  Famous One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream plus some other info, and there are 15 or more ideas in, you guessed it, Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers.

Browse around Sudden Lunch! for more ideas and, as I have hinted above, there is a great deal more information on avoiding food waste in here. 

Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers cookbook
Great Preview here!

How to Cope with a Glut of Apples

Bramleys are the best cooking apples

I have a slight glut of apples which is particularly edifying when one considers that I don’t have an apple tree! I do however have a generous friend. The apples she’s given me are Bramleys; lovely cooking apples with the useful advantage of being self-puréeing, so an obvious thing to do with too many is make …

preparing apples to make apple sauce

Apple Sauce

This is so easy I don’t think it can actually be called a recipe.

~  Peel and slice Bramley apples.
~  Taste a bit and then sweeten with as much sugar as you see fit. If you’ve no idea then add just a little and adjust with more sugar when the apples are cooked!
~  Put into a large pan with a tablespoon of water. This helps them get started but that’s all you need; too much and the sauce will be runny.
~  Put over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring every few minutes till you have apple sauce! Taste and stir more sugar as necessary. 

If you have made loads freeze some, it freezes really well and ice cubes are a good idea so that you can thaw just what you need, or add a cube or two to soups and sauces.  Or here are some more ideas for leftover or too much apple sauce ...

15 Ideas for “leftover” Apple Sauce 

1.   Freeze as ice lollies!
3.   Stir into pork gravy or add to pork braises or stews.
4.   Fold into mashed potato to serve with ham, pork or  bacon.
5.   Add to pumpkin or other squash soups – delicious!
6.   Spread into bacon, ham or pork sarnies.
7.   Spread on the toast before the cheese when making  Cheese on Toast.
8.   Mix into mayonnaise – this makes a great dressing for  coleslaw.
9.   Add to braised red cabbage.
10. Make little apple tarts or turnovers with leftover pastry scraps.
11.  Use instead of jam to fill a Vicky Sponge, scones and  similar.
13.  Apple Crumble Sundae – layer up apple sauce and  leftover crumble (or Apple Crumble) with ice cream.
14.  Stir into yogurt or porridge for breakfast.
15.  Dollop into rice pudding
16.  “They do say” that fat in baked goods can be replaced  by apple sauce but I’ve not tried it myself. There is  plenty of info on the web though so have yourself a  look!

15 ways to use apple sauce
Pin for Future Reference!

Non-Bramley Type Apples

There are, of course, a lot of these around now as well so I’d just like to mention a lovely recipe I posted earlier.

Apple dappy recipe

Devonshire Apple Dappy

When I posted this I had the most visits to my blog ever and was very confused. Read here for the Apple Dappy recipe and here for a surprising (to me at least) explanation of its popularity

And this which I don’t think I've mentioned here before and which my sister and I concocted years and years ago when we were baby chefs …

Cornish Apple Cribbly

This is a superb way of using up leftover bread and apples at the same time. 

~  Peel and dice an apple and toss with sugar to coat.
~  Have ready about the same quantity of similarly diced stale or leftover bread (and in this case white bread is probably best).
~  Melt a knob of butter and cook the sugary apple in it till it is softening and browning and oozing lovely caramelly juices.
~  Use a slotted to spoon to remove the apple from the pan and set aside.
~  Add the diced bread to the pan and cook till the juices have been absorbed and the bread is turning crisp and golden.
~  Return the apple, toss all together and serve immediately with ice cream or cream, preferably of the clotted persuasion.

Several of these ideas are included in my book, Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers.  If these are just some of the suggestions I can think of for Bramley apples don't you wonder what ideas I have for the other 450 potential leftovers?

best leftovers cookbook ever!
Great preview here.

A couple of Reviews of Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers ...

“Helps you create tasty loveliness from almost every possible leftover foodstuff you could think of (and possibly some that you couldn't....)”
“Cookery books are really very boring, but this one definitely isn't!”  

Always bear in mind, however …

apple pie quote by Caarl Sagan

Essential Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Fridge

small crowded fridge

We recently moved into our lovely but small barn which at the moment only has a not so lovely and rather small fridge and I have to be pretty clever getting everything to fit in.  

I used to work in a restaurant with a similar problem and in this case there was literally only one way to get it all to fit so we called it Rubik's Fridge.

Here are some good ideas if you are in a similar situation.

How to Organise your Fridge

In no particular order ...

~   Cover everything.  Not only is this good practice to stop cross-pongination it also means you can put something else on top; stacking, as it's known in the trade.
~   Don't use round containers - they are not ergonomical!
~   They do say, and I believe them, that a packed fridge is more economical as it takes less energy than cooling a lot of air.  Having said that ...
~   ... make sure there is enough room for some air circulation!
~   Decant everything possible into smaller containers.  I use sandwich bags for most things as the air and be squashed out and they squish into convenient shapes as needed. 
~   Never store anything in an open can as this is very naughty.
~   Don't bother storing bread in the fridge, it takes up loads of room and is pointless, it will stale much quicker than out of the fridge.
~   Don't keep tomatoes, bananas or avocados in the fridge either, or potatoes or onions although you probably know that.
~   Gather like foods together, for instance I always keep a cheese box in the fridge for my collection.
~   Operate a first in first out policy by putting newer stuff at the back.
~   To save space do not keep your cat in the fridge unless he wants you to.  This is a picture of my friend Anouk's cat Oster.  They live in the Caribbean and after long walk the cat meows to be let into the fridge to cool off.
cat cooling off in the fridge in the tropics
Another "useful" fridge tip I have read about is ...

"To avoid buying things you already have, take a photo of your fridge before
you go grocery shopping."

Ha ha! When I was young we used to write a shopping list but "tell that to the kids today ..."!

In other news ~ Jamie Oliver was right!

I am not alone in having remarked on Jamie Oliver's inclusion of a side of salmon in his "Save with Jamie" book.  Many people including me had suggested that this was not particularly frugal.  Well I kind of take it back.  A few days ago we bought an enormous whole salmon, 3.5 kg, for £16.  A large initial outlay I know but whilst not actually frugal it turned out to be quite a bargain so - sorry Jamie!

large fresh whole salmon

I had to cut the head off to get it all on the chopping board but don't worry I used it!  After removing the two sides of fish from the bones I put the skeleton and head in a large pot with a little water and treated exactly the same as I did a chicken carcass in the last post. I got 12 x 6 oz (175g - ish) portions from the sides and estimate 5 meals from the leftovers.  There are lots of ideas for leftover salmon throughout this blog so just search "salmon" in the search box. (I expect you knew that!) 

Speaking of Jamie Oliver ...

I'd just like to show off a bit with this lovely review of my book, Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers.
best leftovers cookbook ever!