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Fennel ice cream


  • 400ml double cream

  • 2 tsps fennel seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar (you don't need to grind them into a powder)

  • 250 ml milk

  • 80g sugar

  • 4 large egg yolks


  1. Add fennel and double cream to a small heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and leave to steep.

  2. Get a fine mesh sieve and clean bowl ready.

  3. Add milk, a pinch of salt and 60g sugar to another sauce pan and scald.

  4. Whisk yolks and remaining sugar together. Add hot milk in a slow trickle whisking all the time to start making a custard.

  5. Wash out the sauce pan to remove any milk solids and return the custard to it. Heat the custard stirring all the time until it thickens sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon. Make sure you don't over heat it at this point.

  6. Pour the mixture through the sieve into the bowl.

  7. Pour the fennel infused double cream through the sieve, and mush through any thick creamy bits with the back of a spoon.

  8. Stir the two mixtures together.

  9. Now you can either sit the bowl in an ice bath and whisk it cool, or put a layer of clingfilm on the surface and allow to cool at a normal pace. I tend to just let it cool slowly and stick it in the fridge over night.

  10. Once cool, churn in an ice cream machine.


Ice cream is generally quite easy to make, the most difficult bit is getting the custard right (and even if it goes a bit wrong it will still taste fine). Make sure you have everything ready before making the custard. When heating the custard bring the temperature up slowly. It's ready when the mixture coats the back of a spoon, This means when the mixture has thickened enough so that when you pull a spoon out you can draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon through the custard that is clinging to it. As soon as it has reached this point pour it straight out. If there are any lumpy bits stuk to the base of the pan don't scrape them out into the mixture.

When you have the two mixtures combined, have a taste it should be just a little stronger and sweeter than how you would like it as freezing it will dull the taste of it slightly. Add a little more sugar if you think you need it.

Take the ice cream out the freezer 5-10 minutes befor serving to allow it to soften a little.
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