Ice Cream and Sorbets – make your own!

Posted on January 11th, 2012
Categories: News

The 80’s and 90’s promised us gadgets that would revolutionize our lives!  Do you remember the massaging electrical chair, the bread machine, the vibrating foot spa (most of which have found themselves retired in our Kenyan beauty salons, thankfully!) and of course the ice cream maker.  Our lives would never be the same again!  Sadly, my ice cream maker was bought inEngland10 years ago, a country which offers very few warm days and even less incentive to use it regularly.  It collected much dust in the attic, as did most of my friends’ machines.

However, this was not lost on the manufacturers.  I think there was a very clever marketing executive at one of these companies, who managed to persuade all writers of cooking books all around the world that, from this day forth, they must ensure that any ice cream written about needed to churn in an electrical ice cream machine to guarantee success.

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve found a gorgeous looking ice cream recipe and everything is going your way:  the ingredients are easy to find, the method looks simple enough, having read points 1 to 8, and then you get to point 9 and see the predictable words “place all the ingredients into the ice cream machine and leave on for 10 minutes”.  Your heart sinks, how on earth will you make it without the machine?  You opt for another idea.. In reality, you don’t really need the ice cream maker.  What you do need to do to ensure the ice creams mix well and sorbets don’t form ice crystals, is to stir it with a fork every 3 hours, three times in all.  Simple enough!  Therefore, make it at the start of the day if possible!   Here are 3 recipes that are possible with the stirring method.




1 tin (approx. 400 mls) of condensed milk
500mls double cream (buy good thick creamy one)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
seeds of 2 vanilla pods (optional – makes it look very professional!)


  1. Put all the ingredients together in a big bowl and stir well – using an electric hand-whisk, for about 30 seconds, if you have one (or a balloon whisk if not)
  2. Splitthe vanilla pod down the middle and you will see hundreds of little seeds, scrape them carefully into the mixture and mix well.
  3. Pour the ingredients into a plastic container and put into the freezer (coldest part if possible)
  4. After 3 hours, or when the edges are starting to freeze, give it a good mix with a fork and put back into the freezer.  This will break down the ice crystals and circulate the vanilla seeds
  5. Repeat step 4. after another 3 hours, twice again.
  6. Will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months

Alternatively, you can make an excellent coffee ice cream by using the above ingredients and missing out the vanilla extract and seeds and adding ½ cup of strong black coffee (preferably ground coffee rather than instant granules)

Watermelon & Mint Sorbet

225gms of caster sugar
225ml of water
1 large watermelon (must taste sweet)
A large handful of mint leaves – cut very finely


  1. Combine the sugar and water together in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and place the syrup to the side to cool down whilst you prepare the fruit.
  2. Puree the watermelon in a food processor and set aside
  3. Place the watermelon puree and chopped mint in the cooled sugar syrup and mix well.   Place into a container and then into the freezer.
  4. When the sorbet starts to freeze around the edges (after 3 hours), use a fork to stir the edges into the middle and mix it all up.
  5. Do this every 3 hours, two more times

Remove from the freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

This can be either served as a delicious light pudding for lunch, or in little shot glasses as a refresher to have in between a rich meal, like a curry or roast lamb, and a pudding.

Note – this will only keep in the freezer for about 3-5 days.