Tuesday 26 November 2013

Crown Prince becoming a Rarity

The last of 2012's Crown Prince, unblemished and still perfectly edible, became Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream at the end of October, 13 months after it was picked! See below for the recipe.

Banana Split with Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream, Crème Crue and Marrons Glacées
The harvest at the end of September stimulated the Uchiki Kuri and the Butternuts into further action! The incredibly late autumn meant that we had to balance the fact that the fruit were still swelling against the preparedness of the slugs and snails to attack them.

The additions bring Uchiki Kuri to seven fruits averaging just over a kilo, and the two varieties of Butternut to 22 fruits apiece, averaging 750 grammes (Harrier) and 830 grammes (Hunter). Harrier's batting average was distorted by the last two fruit, at 182 grammes apiece. The plants averaged seven fruits each, which is not bad at all. We have a total of 71 kilos of pumpkin and winter squash, 61 fruits altogether.

From the top - Uchiki Kuri, Sweet Dumpling, Crown Prince and Pomme d'Or from Tournon Fête aux Arbres

Some of my 2014 seed order has come from the Organic Gardening Catalogue. As a member of Garden Organic I get a 10% discount on my purchases. The bad news is that their advertised Crown Prince is actually a different F1 hybrid variety called Rarity. Some web searching indicates that Rarity produces smaller fruit (2 kilos instead of 3 to 4 - good) but that doesn't have so much flavour (bad). Compare the rounded smooth squashes in the picture below with the male flowers at top right to get an idea of the size, and with the lumpy, flattened, much bigger beasties on the stairs.

Rarity (the only picture I can find)
The OGC told me that their supplier maintained that Rarity is the same as Crown Prince, which clearly it isn't, though whether it is an improvement or not remains to be seen. They are reimbursing me, and I have ordered a replacement from King's Seeds (after telephoning them to make sure I wouldn't get Rarity again).

Spiced Pumpkin Ice cream
from Ices - the definitive guide by Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir
375ml / 12 fl oz milk
3 egg yolks
200g / 7 oz light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground pepper
250 ml / 8 fl oz thick pumpkin purée e.g steamed Crown Prince or Butternut
185ml / 6 fl oz whipping cream
2 tsp brandy
Makes about 1 litre / 32 fl oz.

Make a custard with the milk, egg yolks, sugar and spices, by your favourite method - for example see here
Allow the custard to cool completely, stirring occasionally.
Beat in the pumpkin puree and the cream. Add the brandy, taste and add more spice if preferred.
Cover and chill it in the fridge. It can be left overnight at this stage, if necessary. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove odd lumpy bits of pumpkin (if you’re fussy).
If using an ice cream maker, set it going and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Freeze to the consistency of softly whipped cream. Scrape into plastic boxes, cover with greaseproof or waxed paper and a lid, label and freeze.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, follow the standard ‘still freezing’ technique.


GaynorB said...

The spiced pumpkin ice-cream was wonderful!

Tim said...

Thanks Gayno for the unsolicited testimonial! P.

Jean said...

The ice cream looks wonderful. Thanks for the recipe.