Berries and gin are a gorgeous combination and not only in a cocktail. For a winning dessert, we've folded a jammy blackberry and raspberry ripple through gin-infused ice-cream, and sandwiched it between crisp discs of meringue. Use fresh berries when they're in season; otherwise frozen work fine.
- 800 ml pouring cream
- 100 ml milk
- 50 ml gin
- 50 ml crème de mûre (see note)
- 8 egg yolks
- 180 gm caster sugar
- Juice of 1 lime
- To serve: raspberries
- 200 gm caster sugar
- 200 gm each frozen raspberries and frozen blackberries
- 60 ml each gin and crème de mûre
- 2 tbsp liquid glucose
- Juice of 2 limes
- 200 gm eggwhite
- 200 gm caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 190 gm pure icing sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1Bring cream, milk, gin and crème de mûre to the simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale, then whisk in lime juice. Pour cream mixture over, whisk to combine, then return to pan and stir continuously until mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon (5-6 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
- 2Meanwhile, for bramble syrup, stir sugar, berries, gin, crème de mûre, glucose and 40ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook until syrupy (8-10 minutes). Remove from heat, add lime juice, stir and stand until cooled.
- 3Churn chilled cream mixture in an ice-cream machine, then spoon into a container and fold in half the bramble syrup to form a ripple effect. Freeze until required (refrigerate remaining bramble syrup until required). Bring to room temperature before serving.
- 4For meringues, preheat oven to 120C. Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then, whisking continuously, gradually add caster sugar and whisk until glossy. Add vanilla and whisk again. Sieve icing sugar and cornflour over, fold to combine, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain piping tube. Pipe 8cm rounds of meringue onto baking trays lined with baking paper and bake, swapping trays halfway through to cook evenly, until crisp but not coloured (45-50 minutes). Cool completely on trays and store in an airtight container until required. Meringues will keep for a week.
- 5To serve, gently warm reserved bramble syrup over low heat to melt, place scoops of bramble ripple ice-cream on half the meringues, drizzle with a little bramble syrup, top with remaining meringues and serve with extra berries.
Note Crème de mûre is a blackberry liqueur available from select bottle shops. If unavailable, substitute with crème de cassis or extra gin. Another way to serve this bramble ripple ice-cream and meringue is Eton mess style. Crush meringues and layer in glasses or a serving bowl with bramble ripple ice-cream and syrup, finishing with a little extra syrup.