THERE ARE STILL ROUGH-AND-READY TYPES IN THE HILLS OF SIERRA DE FRANCIA. ONE OF THEM IS JOAQUÍN. HE LIVES JUST OUTSIDE MIRANDA DEL CASTAÑAR ON HIS PLOT OF LAND. HE HAS NEVER MARRIED AND COMES TO TOWN ONCE A WEEK FOR SUPPLIES, AND TO DELIVER SOME OF HIS CHERRIES WHEN THEY ARE IN SEASON. HE USED TO WALK INTO TOWN, BUT AFTER HE SHOT HIMSELF IN THE FOOT HE FOUND IT EASIER TO RIDE ON HIS DONKEY THAT, FOR THE RECORD, IS BLIND IN ONE EYE, ACCOMPANIED BY AN ENTOURAGE OF THREE LOPING HUNTING DOGS AND TWO PRANCING GOATS. THE CHERRIES GROW WILD IN THE RIVER VALLEYS. MEDIUM-SIZED AND NOT OVERBLOWN WITH WATER, THEY’RE DARK, SLIGHTLY TART AND WONDERFULLY FLAVOURED. I’VE NAMED THIS DESSERT IN HIS HONOUR, USING BEST-QUALITY CHERRIES, GOAT’S CURD ICE CREAM (JOAQUÍN CAN’T USE AN ICE CREAM MAKER AS HE DOESN’T HAVE ELECTRICITY) AND ANIS LIQUEUR (WHICH I’M SURE, JUDGING BY THE WAY HE RIDES HIS DONKEY, HE IS FAMILIAR WITH). USING FRESH GOAT’S CURD IN THIS DESSERT RETAINS ITS RUSTIC TEXTURE.
In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks and caster sugar until just combined.
Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. As soon as the cream reaches boiling point, remove from the heat and stir 2 tablespoons of the hot cream into the egg mixture and mix well. Whisking continuously, gradually add the remaining hot cream until well combined.
Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan and stir over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat, whisk in the goat’s curd and leave to cool to body temperature. Place in an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. (Alternatively, transfer to a shallow metal tray and freeze, whisking every couple of hours, until the ice cream is frozen and creamy in texture. Freeze for 5 hours or overnight.) Soften in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
Wash the cherries and pat dry. Place in a bowl, then add the anis and icing sugar and toss well.
To serve, place the cherries in chilled serving bowls with a little of the liqueur. Add a scoop of the ice cream and serve immediately.
© 2009 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.