This wonderful ice cream can be served with the Christmas pudding or mince pies, or on its own at another meal. You can also make it into Christmas pudding ice cream after the festive meal by crumbling leftover pudding into the mixture before freezing. It’s a convenient ice cream as it can be made days ahead and served straight from the freezer.
Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with the salt until they stand in soft peaks. Add the sugar to the water in a saucepan and dissolve over a low heat, then increase the heat and boil fiercely for 3 minutes without stirring. Pour immediately on to the egg whites in a thin stream, whisking all the time with an electric whisk at high speed. Then very gradually whisk in the brandy to taste. Continue whisking until it is really thick and looks like a very smooth meringue mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until thick but not too stiff and then gently but thoroughly fold it into the egg white mixture with a metal spoon. Pour the mixture into a large serving bowl and freeze overnight (or for several days if more convenient) before serving.
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.