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Asparagus icecream


Like many savoury icecreams, this gets mixed reactions at first. But once our guests get used to the idea, it tends to get very high praise. We'e described below how we like to serve it; it would also go well with smoked salmon instead of ham. A good sauce Hollandaise is essential - homemade would be best, although there are some pretty decent readymade ones in the shops these days.


Serves 8 as a starter


For the icecream

350g green asparagus
750ml whole milk
6 egg yolks
100g sugar
125ml cream

To serve

Sauce Hollandaise

8 thin slices of smoked ham (e.g. Schwarzwälderschinken, or Serrano ham)


Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Trim off the woody ends of the aspagarus and cut into lengths around 5 cm long. Cook for a few minutes (between 2-4 mins depending on how thick they are) until tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Pick out the tips and reserve for later; put the rest into a blender along with the cream and blend until smooth.


Bring the milk to the boil, then pour onto the beaten egg yolks and sugar. Return to the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the asparagus purée and pour the whole mixture through a sieve. Cool and churn in an ice-cream mixer.


When ready to serve, warm the sauce Hollandaise, taking care not to let it boil. On each plate, arrange a scoop of icecream, a slice of ham, and a couple of asparagus tips. Pour over the Hollandaise sauce at the table and eat immediately.

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