Although you can use any cherry, sweet or sour, for this recipe, I used Picota cherries for this gelato ice cream recipe. Hurry! The Picota season finishes in about ten days.
Since discovering Picota, I find most other cherries a bit disappointing. Here in France, I’m eating the local Bigarreau cherry which has all the porno prerequisites of a good cherry: oversized, blood red, shiny as glossy lipstick, but not as sweet and crunchy as the Picota cherry.
I’m here for the next month, helping my parents deal with French bureaucracy at their house in the south of France. I try to do a little task for them every day, before it gets too hot.
Today I called the electricity board to find out why there are consistent power cuts – they’ve gone through three TV’s and several freezer worths of food. Then I phone the ‘ramoneur’, the chimney sweep. Having your chimneys swept every year is a big deal in France, I remember that from living in Paris. Your home insurance is invalid if you don’t do this.
On Monday I translated intricate electronic technical terms for the jacuzzi repairer. Fun!
Wednesday I had to call the ambulance (call 15 for the SAMU) as my 84 year old dad had what looked like a stroke. Turns out it was sunstroke, which is still pretty worrying. My dad acts like he’s 20, sweeping leaves in the midday sun without a hat. My mum cried at the hospital. He’s fine now. But I know there will be a day, not too soon in the future, where he won’t be.
Incredibly it’s cooler here in the south of France than it is in London – a mere 32Cº rather than the horrendous 38 to 40Cº in the big smoke. Plus the mediterranean is geared up for heat – tiled floors, thick walls, shutters, swimming pools and air conditioning. Just like the British are prepared for winter – cheap and efficient gas central heating, carpets, electric kettles for hot drinks. Winter in the south of France, I know, I’ve done it, is freezing from about 4pm onwards. All the hard surfaces lead to condensation inside. Heating is generally hot air blowing radiators – expensive and doesn’t warm the house. I used to watch the meter rapidly tick over with increasing anxiety.
It’s all going to change if climate change does mean hotter summers. The air conditioning on London transport is non-existent or weak. I have one puny fan and my Victorian garden flat is cool compared to most. I may look into installing ceiling fans.
Cooking in this heat is unappealing. Having catered a party on the hottest day of last summer, sweltering in a tiny domestic kitchen with the oven on, was not a pleasant experience.
I feel for professional kitchens, most of which don’t have any air-con. Many restaurants are closing during the heatwave: customers have no appetite and working in 40 degree plus temperature is dangerous for chefs.
Here’s a recipe to cool us all down.
Cherry Ice Cream recipe
- 150 g caster sugar
- 20 g cornflour
- Pinch of sea salt
- 200 ml whole milk
- 400 ml sour cream
- 250 g cherries, pitted
- Put the sugar, cornflour, salt and 2 tablespoons of the milk, into a small pan over a low heat. Whisk the mixture together as you warm it, then add the rest of the milk.
- Continue to whisk until it thickens. The mixture will become translucent, meaning that the cornflour has cooked through properly.
- Remove from heat and add the hot liquid to the sour cream. Leave to cool, then add to your ice cream maker and churn for 90 minutes.