When I was a kid we spent a large part of the summer holidays on the North Norfolk coast swimming, wallowing in marsh mud and, in the words of the wonderful Kenneth Grahame, ‘messing about in boats’. By the end of the day we would be muddy, salty, bedraggled but happy and before we piled into the car to head home to hot food and hotter showers there was always time for a trip to the ice cream van.
While my friends tended to head for the more chocolatey end of the spectrum, I was always partial to the humble Screwball. There was nothing quite like digging through that plastic cone full of delicious raspberry ripple to get to the ultimate prize, the sugar coated ball of bubblegum at the base. It was the ultimate gift that just kept giving, and I would be chewing away merrily long after the Magnums and Feasts had been devoured.
I’m sure if I were to buy a screwball now (do they still exist?) it wouldn’t live up to my exulted memories, but a good ripple is a wonderful thing, so here is my grown up version using damson puree in place of the common raspberry. This would work perfectly with ice cream but I think the lighter texture and slight acidity of frozen yoghurt really compliments the fruity puree and – added bonus – it is certainly more virtuous. I am sure that even the hardiest chocoholic could be won over by the vibrant ruby gleam and rich flavour of this ‘froyo’, but if they remain unconvinced I find that adding a good glug of damson gin just before serving tends to seal the deal…and failing that, you’ll just have to buy some bubblegum…
Damson Ripple Frozen Yoghurt
This definitely works best with full-fat yoghurt, but if you want to make it with low fat yoghurt I recommend a thicker sort – try Skyr Icelandic yoghurt or thick Greek.
This recipe works best (and is simplest) using an ice cream machine, but it can also be made without one. I have included both methods.
- 1 litre full-fat natural yoghurt
- 250g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 200ml (more or less) damson puree
- Couple of shots of damson or sloe gin (optional, to serve)
Pour the yoghurt into a mixing bowl and add the sugar and salt, whisk until they dissolves. Add lemon juice to taste, bearing in mind that once frozen the flavour will be more subtle.
If using an ice cream machine: Pour the mix into the drum and churn (following manufacturer’s instructions). Pour into a plastic container and gently fold through damson puree, until you achieve your desired ripple. Freeze.
If making by hand: Pour the yoghurt mix into a shallow plastic container, cover and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and using a whisk, beat the yoghurt to break up any ice crystals. Return to the freezer and repeat this process two more times. After the third whisk, gently fold through the damson puree, until you achieve your desired ripple. Freeze.
To serve, spoon into bowls and top with more damson puree and/or a drizzle of gin.
Makes 1 litre