Saturday, 10 December 2011

Ben Vear in Vanessa's Kitchen - Christmas Pudding Ice-cream

I've known Ben Vear for quite some time.  He's extremely talented and has the most incredible knowledge about ice cream, so in my kitchen is Ben Vear.  He's fourth generation ice-cream maker from Winstones Icecream and Ben from the heart of the Cotswolds. We popped into my local Waitrose, picked up the ingredients and headed straight home where we set to making this festive flavour. I asked him  how he came about becoming such an expert in Ice-cream "My Great Grandfather Albert Winstone started Winstones Cotswold Ice Cream in 1925 near Stroud, Gloucestershire, where the business is still today churning out delicious ice creams under my mother Jane Vear who sits as managing director and my father Colin is General Manager. So it's in my DNA" he explained with a smile.

Ben is seriously passionate about ice cream.  Certainly it seems that he inherited his grandfather's insistence on sourcing the finest and freshest ingredients, as much as possible from the local community and he really encourages use of seasonally home-grown or locally sourced ingredients and we had a really relaxing afternoon in the kitchen chatting and stirring and I found his knowledge fascinating.   Now I  don't want to spend a fortune on expensive ice creams this year so I asked Ben what we could make on budget this Christmas.  So here you can listen in to us making his recipe for Christmas Pudding ice-cream for under £5.  

Christmas Pudding Ice - cream 
• 400ml carton organic double cream
• 200ml local full fat milk
• 100g fair-trade caster
• 3 large free-range egg yolks
• Handful of sultanas
• 4 tbsp quality brandy
• 4 tbsp quality rum
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tsp ground clove
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. In a bowl combine spices, sultanas, brandy and rum, leave covered in a cool dry place for approx half an hour, to allow the spices and alcohol to infuse.
2. In a mixing bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar until you form a smooth, pale mixture. Place over a low heat and stir until mixture begins to thicken to a custard like substance.
3. Combine milk, cream, yoghurt and the infused rum mixture, ensuring all of the fruit is adequately mixed and mix into the egg based custard.
4. Return to a low heat for approximately 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
5. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions or decant to a pudding bowl and place in the freezer for approx 3 hours, or until set.

To impress guests, you could decant the mixture into a pudding basin, freeze, and turn out when it is ready to serve… not only will the ice cream look and taste just like a real Christmas pudding, but will act as a good alternative for those who find the richness of Christmas pudding too much.

Just a couple of months ago Ben launched  'Make Your Own Organic Ice Cream. I love this book it’s delicious ice creams are straight forward and so much nicer than anything you can buy in the shops. With recipes such as such as strawberries & cream, butterscotch chip, lemon meringue, Christmas pudding and even mulled wine; sorbets such as lime & basil, winter or summer Pimms, lemon grass & ginger and sloe vodka; and frozen desserts, smoothies and thickness  it's full of brilliant idea's .. you get the picture..  it’s a seriously great guide to making your own ice-cream. 


  1. Lovely post, Vanessa. I'd love to try this recipe.

    I've been really enjoying many recipes from Ben's book.

    Charlotte x

  2. Oh yummy! Great idea for Christmas day - all the pudding flavours but nice and light.

  3. Must get Ben's new book - it looks amazing.

  4. Winstone's is a familiar name to me as I grew up in the Cotswolds. Looks like this is the icecream book to get.

  5. It's a great book bought it after listening to him on the radio. Yes wil be making his christmas pud. Also made the choc icecream.

  6. I treated myself to this book and an ice cream machine recently, lots of great recipies to get stuck into, the guinness ice cream is looking good to try soon as well as this festive ice cream.

  7. I have a bit of a soft spot for local artisan ice cream. I've never made it myself as I don't have an ice cream maker but it is on my shopping list. GG

  8. That's a great idea for a xmas pud! Thanks to your post I learned about this book. Shall be looking out for it! :)

  9. This sounds absolutely delicious!An ice-cream maker needs to go onto my Christmas list,I think!

  10. Stage 3 says to combine yoghurt but no yoghurt is listed in the ingredients. Is this an omission and if so how much yoghurt?


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