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Blackberry & red wine kissel with toasted barley ice cream
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½ x 75cl bottle red wine
65g granulated sugar
1 broad, pared strip lemon zest and 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
1¼ tbsp cornflour
For the ice cream
200g pearl barley
300ml milk, plus extra if needed
300ml double cream
4 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs, yolks only
1. To make the ice cream, preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Put the pearl barley on a baking tray or in a roasting tin and roast it for 12 minutes, shaking it around once or twice (otherwise the barley at the edges gets more roasted than the barley in the centre). It shouldn’t burn but instead be nice and golden.
2. Put the barley, milk and cream into a saucepan. Bring to just under the boil, then take off the heat, cover and leave for 30 minutes so the barley can infuse the liquid. Strain through a sieve lined with muslin or cheesecloth. Discard the barley. Measure the liquid and make it up to 600ml again with extra milk. Heat the mixture with 50g sugar, stirring a little to help the sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat.
3. Fill a very large bowl with water and ice. You will need to put a bowl containing the custard into this later.
4. Put the egg yolks in a bowl with the remaining 50g sugar and whisk them together. Pour the warm milk mixture over the egg yolks, stirring all the time. Pour into a clean, heavy-based saucepan and set over a low heat. Do not allow it to boil or the eggs will curdle. Heat gently, stirring all the time, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (when you run your index finger through it, it should leave a channel). It can take up to 15 minutes for the custard to thicken. As soon as it’s ready, pour the custard into a clean bowl and set the bowl in the iced water so the mixture stops cooking. Stir the custard from time to time while it’s cooling.
5. If you have an ice-cream maker, use this to churn the ice cream. If you don’t, scrape the custard into a container that will fit in your freezer (a metal one is good as it conducts the cold). Freeze until you see that the mixture has frozen around the edges, then whizz it in a food processor and return it to the container and freeze again. You’ll need to do this about three times during the freezing process.
6. To make the kissel, put the wine, sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Heat, stirring from time to time, until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the temperature and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the blackberries. Poach them over a low heat for about 4 minutes. Strain the liquid and put the berries into a serving bowl. Return the poaching liquid to the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
7. Put the cornflour in a small bowl and gradually add 45-50ml (about 3 tbsp) of the poaching liquid, stirring all the time so that no lumps form. Slowly pour this back into the main pan, stirring continually. Heat, whisking constantly, until the poaching liquid thickens a little. Leave to cool, then pour over the berries. You can put the kissel in the fridge (covered) but check that it doesn’t become gloopy. If it firms up too much, take it out of the fridge a little before you want to serve it. Serve the kissel with a scoop of the toasted barley ice cream.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in December 2020.
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