It’s The Times’ restaurant critic Giles Coren’s favourite pub and while its doors might be closed for now, you can make some of The Bull & Last’s much-loved dishes at home thanks to its fantastic new cookbook
IMAGE: WHITEFOX PUBLISHING
This dessert from the pub’s opening menu went down an absolute storm, so we’ve kept it on and it’s become a Bull & Last classic.
Blueberry Cheesecake Sundae
- You will need an ice cream maker
For the Blueberry Purée
- 500 g fresh blueberries
- 25 g caster sugar
- a generous squeeze of lemon juice
For the Blueberry Ripple Ice Cream
- 1 x quantity Classic Vanilla Ice Cream base (see below)
- 120 g Blueberry Purée
For the Sweet Cheese
- 180 g full-fat cream cheese
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds scraped from 1/4 vanilla pod
For the Blueberry Compote
- 600 g fresh blueberries
- 75 g caster sugar
- 1 unwaxed lemon
- 50 g salted butter
- 200 g digestive biscuits
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream (Makes 2 litres, 12-15 scoops)
- 950 ml double cream
- 570 ml whole milk
- 2 vanilla pods
- 6 egg yolks
- 235 g caster sugar
- clotted cream, to serve
- First, make the blueberry purée. Cook all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat for 12–15 minutes, until the berries have split and cooked down, and the juice has reduced a little. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then strain into a bowl. Leave to cool completely, then chill until ready to serve.
- Make the vanilla ice cream base and transfer to the fridge to chill. [See method below].
- Place a mixing bowl in the freezer and churn the chilled ice cream mixture until very thick and fluffy, in batches if necessary, but before you put it in the freezer to set, transfer the thick ice cream to the frozen mixing bowl and put the blueberry purée on top. Fold the purée into the ice cream, creating a ribbon effect (don’t mix it in too much), then scrape the mixture into a 2-litre container, seal and freeze for 3–4 hours minimum, to set.
- Now make the blueberry compote. Put the blueberries, caster sugar and two large strips of pared lemon peel and all the lemon juice in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes, or until the blueberries are releasing juice (but haven’t broken down) and the sugar has dissolved. Remove, stir to combine the syrup and fruit, and pour onto a dish to cool. Remove the peel.
- Next, make the biscuit crumb. Melt the butter. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they form a fine crumb. Mix the biscuit crumbs and butter in a bowl, then transfer to a baking sheet, spread it out and flatten it, and chill for 10 minutes in the fridge. Remove and break the set mixture into chunky crumbs.
- Make the sweet cheese by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Now it’s just a case of assembling everything. Let the ice cream soften for a few minutes, then arrange balls of ice cream with the cheese mixture in your chosen dishes, add the compote and sprinkle with biscuit crumb. Serve immediately.
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
- Pour the cream and milk into a large heavy-based saucepan. Halve the vanilla pods lengthways, scrape out the seeds, and put the seeds and split pods in the pan. Place on the hob over a medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Put the egg yolks and sugar in a large heatproof mixing bowl and whisk together well with a balloon whisk. Once the cream mix has reached simmering point, remove it from the heat and slowly pour it over the egg yolks, whisking continuously but not heavily (otherwise the whisk will create a thick foam on top and you will not be able to see the custard thickening in the next step). Rinse the saucepan to remove the milk solids.
- Return the custard mix to the clean pan and cook over a low heat for 5–6 minutes, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon, until thickened. You want the mixture to reach 81°C on a probe thermometer. The custard must cook slowly, otherwise the mix will reach 81°C before it has thickened and then the egg will scramble.
- Once the custard has thickened, remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a heatproof container. Cover the top of the custard with a piece of baking paper so a skin doesn’t form while it’s cooling down. Once the mixture has cooled down considerably, cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
- Set up the ice cream machine. Pour in the right amount of custard to suit your machine’s bowl capacity, turn on and churn (churn it in batches if necessary). Once the ice cream is very thick, turn off the machine, transfer the ice cream to a 2-litre container, seal with a lid and freeze for at least 3–4 hours, or until ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining custard mixture, if churning in batches. The ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. Serve with a big dollop of clotted cream.
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