I'm not feeling very Christmassy yet. It's certainly frosty enough, and all the neighbours have their lights up, but somehow I'm just not there yet. I've even managed to make some plans and more or less organise the menu so I am not under-prepared, I am just not feeling it. I haven't even had a mince pie yet, although I had my first glass of mulled wine for the season about a month ago.
I am sure I will get there at some point. Preferably before the 25th.
Even without feeling full of the joys of the season, I think I have managed to come up with a very Christmassy dessert for this month's Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream challenge. The challenge Kavey set was a nice, flexible, seasonal one - frozen treats containing booze.
Well, I like booze. And the selection of alcohol in my kitchen at the moment is unusually large (Ocado keeps having special offers). I decided to make something that we could have as our dessert on Christmas Day, rather than making something extra that I would then be tempted to eat.
While I'd been intending to repeat the whisky marmalade ice cream I made last year for Christmas, I really felt that this challenge deserved a new recipe.
I opened the cupboard for a bit of a poke about and found quite a lot of Spanish nougat - turrón. It was a gift from a friend who stayed last month; she had said that her family feels deprived if they don't get turrón at Christmas.
|There are many kinds of turrón - this is the hard one.|
actually contains no almonds. The almond flavour in it is the result of apricot kernals, making apricots the natural fruity partner for it.
|Dried apricots marinated in amaretto|
100g dried apricots, finely chopped
3 egg whites (100ml-ish)
150g caster sugar
finely grated zest of a lemon & juice of half
200g turrón de Alicante (hard almond nougat), finely chopped
Combine the apricots with 2tbs of the amaretto in a small bowl or plastic box, cover and leave to soak over night.
The following day, combine the eggwhites, sugar and lemon juice in a large glass bowl and place over a pot of simmering water. Beat slowly for a couple of minutes until the sugar dissolves completely, then remove from heat and whisk on high speed until firm peaks form (up to 10 minutes).
In another bowl, whisk the cream with the remaining tablespoonful of amaretto to soft peaks. Fold together the cream and meringue, then fold in the boozy apricots with any unabsorbed liquid, the chopped turrón and the grated lemon zest.
Spread into a loaf tin lined with cling film. Cover with more cling film and freeze over night. It doesn't freeze hard, and can either be scooped or sliced straight from the tin.
|Sampled for photographic purposes, the rest can wait for Christmas day|