Thursday, 4 August 2011

Celery Ice Cream

If one day, you hooked me up to some brain monitoring equipment. You could be forgiven at first for thinking the equipment was broken. Surveying the absence of any activity on the screen, you’d unplug and re-check every connection again and again, mystified as to what could possibly be wrong. You may eventually, patience stretched to snapping point; exasperated; punch the equipment violently. Meanwhile, I’d look on with a docile expression, serene, with not an actual thought in my head to register a blip, for herein lies the problem. Suddenly, without warning, the screen explodes into a frenzy of activity, you’d glance around at me excitedly to see my countenance, fraught and positively terrified as neurons and synapses frantically engage. I may even howl in distress as a crescendo of activity is reached. And then, as suddenly as it began, a silence that seems to draw out…forever….

I speak.
You’re stunned.

“Celery Ice-Cream”

Every now and again, dull mediocrity is punctuated by genius. That genius is celery ice cream and hot Stilton fritters.
*Needle skids across record*
Ok, not Stilton fritters. I tried making them, I thought they’d partner the ice cream perfectly, they didn’t. At all... So lets just forget I even mentioned that idea.

But celery ice cream standing alone, strong and proud, worked. It was beautiful, creamy, vegetal, and slightly peppery. And, the only recipe I could find for it online was an incredibly cheffy type one, for which you’d need a centrifuge, a team of bespectacled scientists and a chemistry set. Staring at these instructions uncomprehending, I gradually went boss eyed and gave up. Deciding instead to make up my own recipe.

Celery Ice Cream
(Makes about 1 litre)

You’ll Need: -

1 Bunch Celery, washed, trimmed and cut roughly into chunks
250ml Whole Milk
500ml Double Cream
3 Egg Yolks
100g Sugar

In a saucepan, add the celery to the milk and double cream. Bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, and allow to infuse for 1 hour.

Strain into a bowl, discarding the celery but giving it a good squeeze to get all the flavour out.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.
Add the celery milk and mix. Return to the pan and over a low heat; stir constantly until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Don’t allow it to boil, or you’ll end up with scrambled celery eggs.

Remove from the heat, and cool (I use the sink full of cold water and some ice cubes). Continue stirring until its cooled right down.

Put the cool custard into the fridge, with Clingfilm directly covering the surface to stop a skin forming. Leave to rest overnight (I left it for a good day and a half before churning).

Churn in an ice cream maker, until firm, smooth and creamy. Transfer to a plastic tub and freeze until needed. Voila – Celery Ice Cream.

Now, to my mind, the only question is, what goes well with it? Believe me, Stilton fritters definitely don’t. I’ve canvassed opinion amongst friends and colleagues, and suggestions have included a Bloody Mary sorbet, chocolate, more celery in the form of a granita, and a Stilton ice cream.

What do you think?


meemalee said...


With Stilton cheese straws - like a 99.

Deconstructed Waldorf Salad a la Launceston Place.

Jen said...

Or a stilton version

Fiona Beckett said...

@meemalee is right. Something biscuity and Stiltony anyway.

Cooking The Books said...

walnut biscuits or walnut salted praline?

Dan said...

Meemalee - superb, thanks MiMi, great suggestions. PS - I really need to get to Launceston Place at some point.

Jen - They look awesome, I may pinch that recipe.

Fiona - Of course, you've actually tasted the celery ice-cream so that helps immensely.

Had a couple of suggestions on Twitter, something peanut butter based, praline perhaps?
And, walnut biscuits or walnut salted praline.

Dan said...

Cooking the books - I just added your Twitter suggestions, as I didn't know if you'd add a comment here. Cracking. I like it.

PDH said...

Sounds excellent, I'd maybe suggest sticking the celery through a juicer and popping in some seeds as well to BOOST it up a notch!

PDH said...


Dan said...

Pavel - You could be right, it's quite subtle but definitely tastes of celery. Stilton Fritters on their own were good.

Sam Lacey said...

Maybe a scoop in your Bloody Mary for a grown-up ice cream float?

Becca said...

Amazing! This isn't something I would ever have though of, but I really want to try it now. And all of the suggested accompaniments just make me want it more than ever. Especially love the idea of a Bloody Mary float!

Graphic Foodie said...

Interesting! I'm loving avocado gelato at the mo so why not celery.

Dan said...

Sam Lacey - Thats a great idea.

Becca - Thanks. The thing is, all of the suggested accompanients sound good. I'll have to try them all ;)

Graphic Foodie - Avocado gelato, that's just as bonkers. Where do you get that? or do you make it yourself?

Anonymous said...

What about stilton and digestives whizzed together for a crumbly topping?


May said...

I would add something cunchy, whether savoury or sweet like parmesan crisps or a nutty brittle. But celery ice cream... won't be something I'd crave.

Helen said...

What about some sort of crisp Stilton crumb type thingy?

Dan said...

Gary - Stilton and digestive topping could work.

May - Agree, texture wise it needs something crunchy. You won't crave celery ice cream though? Sacre bleu!

Dan said...

Helen - A Stilton crumb, crunchy type possibily biscuity thing is getting a lot of mention....and seems like it may be the way to go. I'm going to have to try it out and see.

arh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
arh said...

Perhaps it would go nicely with carrot cake (no icing of course).

Throw in onions (gin & cocktail onion ice?)somehow and you've got a mirepoix dessert!

Related: best random ice cream flavor I've had is rocket (or arugula as we boring Americans like to call it).

Sharmila said...

Can someone bring me round a bloody mary float topped off with celery ice cream and some stilton crumbs please?

Ta. Sounds amazing.

meemalee said...

Dan, avocado is usually made into ice cream and milkshakes in Asia. In fact, I never had avocado in a savoury way till I was at uni.

Graphic Foodie said...

I get the avo gelato from the fatastic Boho Gelato in Brighton. The owner and maker is ridiculously passionate about it. I go in every now and then to try his latest mad creation and a gelato geekathon. Next time you visit you HAVE to go. It's in Poole valley - next to The Mock Turtle tea rooms.