We did Orange Farmers market on Saturday, and feeling flush from our first sale of the morning splashed out on some ducks. As you do. So now our chooks are making room for nine Muscovy ducks and four ducklings. The girls will start laying soon and I can’t wait. In fact I couldn’t wait, so brought a dozen from Trish and Ross Bragg. Their Paling Yards Grove produces fresh, punchy olive oil and their ducks lay beautiful, pale blue eggs just like ours will (I hope).
Duck eggs are fantastic for baking and ice cream, giving extra richness and beautiful golden colour. I made the below recipe yesterday and it was beautiful on its own but even better with raspberry syrup (also below).
Apple mint ice cream
This is a great base recipe for all kinds of ice cream and is just as good if you swap the mint with orange zest, vanilla, melted chocolate, fruit puree or any other flavour. If you don’t have an ice cream maker follow the instructions below or just serve it as a beautiful fresh custard. Makes about one litre.
500ml thickened cream
500ml whole milk
1 cup apple mint (or normal mint)
6 tbsp caster sugar
7 duck or 8 chook egg yolks
Place the cream, milk and apple mint in a saucepan and gently bring just to simmering point. Set aside for about an hour so the mint flavour infuses the milk/cream mixture. Meanwhile, whisk the yolks with three tablespoons of caster sugar. Push the milk/cream mixture through a sieve, pushing every last green drop from the mint leaves. In a clean saucepan, gently bring this back to warm. Whisk a little into the yolks and then pour this yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Make sure the heat isn’t medium only and keep stirring all the time as it’s easy to turn beautiful custard into sweet scrambled eggs. After about five minutes, you’ll notice the custard has become lovely and thick. Remove from heat, pour into a jug and pop in the fridge over night.
Churn the custard in an ice cream machine or place straight in the freezer, removing to whisk every couple of hours.
Alice and Tom picked these raspberries at James and Katrina Sweetapple’s Cargo Road Winery. They have a mass of raspberry bushes around the winery and are always very generous in letting us come and pick our own. Zest and juice from blood oranges cut through the sweetness.
Raspberry and Blood Orange Syrup
Batch one of this syrup was made as Christmas presents for Alice’s pre-school teachers. Batches two and three have been set aside for our pavlova on Christmas Eve and cocktails Christmas Day. It’s dead easy and just delicious.
1 cup raspberries
1 cup caster sugar
zest and juice of 2 blood oranges
Bring everything to the boil, reduce heat and let simmer for five minutes. Pour into a blender and whizz up until smooth. Then press this through a sieve to get rid of the raspberry seeds. Store in glass bottles and close tightly.