Harry, Ron, and Hermione strolled off along the winding, cobbled street. The bag of gold, silver, and bronze jangling cheerfully in Harry's pocket was clamoring to be spent, so he bought three large strawberry-and-peanut-butter ice creams, which they slurped happily as they wandered up the alley, examining the fascinating shop windows.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J. K. Rowling, In Flourish and Blotts
I think I know the Harry Potter series better than I know any other books. They're my comfort reads - when I'm poorly, or homesick, or overtired, they're the novels to which I turn. I've read them aloud (I absolutely can not do McGonagall's accent), listened to the audio tapes, and regularly take them into a bubble bath. I also have three copies of each book - a glorious hardcover set my family bought me for my 21st, a set I collected from charity shops within weeks of arriving in the UK and our originals - the ones Luce and I lined up for at 9am on each release day back in Australia.
All of this is a very long way of saying that I don't have to try very hard to recall the food in Harry Potter. I've said it before, but this blog could easily be a Potter food blog. I'd still be a very long way from running out of ideas.
And so, when it looked like summer was finally on its way this week (it has arrived, for a couple of days at least) I started craving ice-cream. Specifically, I was craving an ice-cream I'd only read about, a flavour bought by Harry at - I imagine - Florean Fortescue's ice-cream parlour. Peanut butter and strawberry jam seems like a very American combination, a little out of place, perhaps, on Diagon Alley. However, with England's gorgeous strawberries, which are at their absolute best at the moment, and the addition of some raspberries, this ice-cream doesn't feel out of place this side of the Atlantic.
I've previously made my own ice-cream cones, but to stand up to an afternoon spent stalking Draco Malfoy, these needed to be a little more robust. To complement the peanut butter and berries, and provide some stability, I dipped some store bought waffle cones into melted dark chocolate. You could add nuts or dehydrated raspberries too; just allow plenty of time for the chocolate to harden before pushing two generous scoops into each cone.
Strawberry and Peanut Butter Ice-Cream
235ml double cream
5 egg yolks
Pinch sea salt
150g peanut butter
200g mixed strawberries and raspberries
200g granulated sugar
10 waffle cones
75g dark chocolate
Two roasting trays
Two 300ml sterilised jars
Ice-cream machine (or electric hand whisk)
Contained suitable for the freezer
A couple of glasses/jars
1. First, make the ripple for your ice-cream. This is essentially a very soft set jam, roasted rather than cooked over the hob for maximum sweetness. Preheat oven to 170C. Hull and chop strawberries. Line two roasting trays with greaseproof paper, place the strawberries and raspberries in one and sugar in the other, and place both trays in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove, tip the sugar into the fruit (be careful as it's much hotter than it looks) and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Transfer to the jars, screw the lids on while still hot.
2. To make the ice-cream, bring the milk and cream almost to the boil over a medium heat. While they are heating, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy. Once the milk and cream are piping hot, slowly pour them into the yolks, whisking continuously to prevent them splitting.
3. Wash out the saucepan, and return the custard to it. Cook over a low heat for around ten minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon. Once thick, whisk the peanut butter into the custard. Pour into a bowl, press a sheet of cling film to the top of the custard. Allow it to cool out of the fridge, then refrigerate until cold, or overnight if you wish.
4. Pour the custard into the ice-cream maker and follow the machine directions to reach soft serve stage.
Pour the custard into the freezer-proof container and place in the freezer. In around an hour, beat it with the electric hand whisk, breaking up any ice crystals that have formed. Repeat hourly for four hours.
5. Sieve your jam to rid it of any seeds and set aside. To ripple the ice-cream, first ensure it's at about the texture of soft serve. Spoon half of the ice-cream into a storage container. Top with the jam, then the rest of the ice-cream. With a butter knife, swirl the ice-cream gently, mixing the layers. Return to the fridge for at least two hours.
6. While the ice-cream is in the freezer, you can prepare the ice-cream cones. Melt the chocolate in a mixing bowl over a pan of hot water and then dip the top of the cones in the chocolate. Shake gently to get rid of any drips and hold the cone upside down for a minute of so. Turn the cone up the right way and leave it to dry in a glass. Repeat with the other cones.
7. Take the ice-cream from the freezer five minutes before you want to serve it. Balance a couple of scoops in a cone and serve.