Strawberries with rosewater ice cream

Ripe strawberries are the perfect accompaniment to this gelato-like rosewater ice cream, says Simon Hopkinson.

Apart from this being a most fragrant and deliciously lactic ice cream, it’s also easy to prepare. Most ice-cream recipes one is familiar with use a base of what is, essentially, a custard. Here, however, the mixture is more akin to the traditional Italian gelato.

I must stress that it’s almost impossible to achieve a perfect result unless churned in an ice-cream machine of quality, one that may cost you upwards of £200. However, please believe me, this will be one of the best investments you will ever make if good ice cream is dear to you. I have had my particular model for 20 years and use it at least twice a month. Money well spent, I’d say.

Strawberries with rosewater ice cream (serves 4)


For the ice cream
2 leaves gelatine
100g golden caster sugar
75g light corn syrup (available online, but I’ve found it in larger branches of Tesco in the ‘World Food’ section)
500ml whole milk (Channel Islands milk is best, here)
Large pinch of sea salt
2 heaped tbspn dried skimmed milk (I use Marvel)
100ml double cream
100ml whipping cream
2tspn rosewater

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Ripe strawberries, hulled and halved

Put the gelatine leaves into a small bowl and cover with cold water, then leave to soak until soft and jelly-like.

Using a saucepan, mix together the sugar, corn syrup, milk, salt, dried skimmed milk and both creams until smooth, then slowly bring up to a simmer over a moderate heat; if you have a kitchen thermometer, the liquid should reach 85 ̊C/sterilise. Now, whisk in the softened gelatine leaves so that they thoroughly dissolve, then leave to cool until lukewarm before stirring in the rosewater. Place in the fridge until cold, before churning in an ice-cream maker.

When ready, the ice cream should be very white and thick: a finger stroked through the mixture should leave a distinct, deep groove. Decant into a plastic container and freeze for at least two hours. To serve, scoop out into chilled dishes and decorate with the strawberries.


Strawberries in red wine

Soaking strawberries in wine and orange liqueur will lift their flavour to new heights, says Simon Hopkinson.