During these very hot summer days, there is nothing more welcoming than a frozen dessert.
Preparing desserts should be fun, but so many people seem to get overwhelmed about making ice creams. There are many short cuts without going through a lot of work or indeed without having to use an ice cream maker. And when you make something at home, you can add all your favourite flavors and leave out everything you do not like or cannot eat.
These recipes are recent ones I made on TV. The photos are unstaged and taken during the live tv show, the reason that some of the ice creams appear close to melting stage due to the summer heat and strong studio lights. I hope you will enjoy making these quick frozen desserts and get even more pleasure from eating them.
[Photograpy Stefan Stafrace, Ian Noel Pace, CJ Baldacchino, Charles Vassallo, Andrea Sacco Baldacchino, JLI]
Date Ice Cream with no added refined sugar
You will need:
410ml evaporated milk [not condensed]
1 tablespoons powdered gelatin
a few drops of vanilla extract or a vanilla pod
Chop up the dates into small pieces and put them in a large bowl. Pour over the evaporated milk and add the vanilla. Cover with cling film and place the bowl in the fridge overnight so that the dates have time to soak and soften. [Alternatively you can heat the mixture up in a saucepan until the dates soften and allow to cool down before carrying on with the rest of the recipe]
Remove the date and milk mixutre from the fridge. Place the powdered gelatin in a saucepan with the water on low heat and stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
Pour the gelatin mixture with the dates and milk and stir. Cover the container and place in the freezer for a minimum of 3 hours. Remove from the freezer and use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to beat the mixture until it doubles in volume. Pour into a container and freeze again for a few hours or overnight before serving.
This recipe is gluten free.
Old Fashioned Maltese Ice Cream
[like my mamma used to make]1 large tin [410ml] evaporated milk
4 tablespoons sugar [or stevia]
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons glace cherries,cut in half
100 g nuts of your choice
1 tablespoon candied fruit [konfettura]
2 tablespoons dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon gelatin powder
On gentle heat, dissolve the sugar in the evaporated milk. Do not allow to boil.
Place the gelatin in a container and add 4 tablespoons of the warm milk and stir until the gelatin powder dissolves. Add to the milk mixture. Stir and remove from heat. Add the vanilla and cinnamon powder and allow to cool. Freeze overnight and then the next day beat with an electric mixer using a balloon whisk and beat on high speed until the mixture doubles in size. Add the cherries, nuts, candied fruit and dark chocolate. Fold in gently and pour into a container. Place in the freezer overnight.
Kulfi Style Ice Cream
Kulfi is traditionally made by simmering milk for many hours and reducing it until it becomes creamy with a hint of a taste of caramel. It is a time-consuming process and this is a great shortcut. To make a kulfi-style dessert use a good quality ready-made ice cream.
You will need:
250g pistachio ice cream
100g raw pistachios chopped
30ml almond milk
1 cardamom pod
1 tbsp rose water
1 fresh mango
Honey to serve
Place the pistachios on a baking sheet and roast them for 5 minutes. Toss and roast them for a further 2 minutes.
Allow to cool completely.
Heat the almond milk in a small saucepan. Open up the cardamom pod and crush the seeds. Add to the milk and bring to boil. Turn off the heat. Add the rose water. Allow to cool completely.
Chop the pistachios. Use small tumblers to make the kulfi. Line the tumblers completely with large pieces of cling film so that it hangs over the side of the glass. Remove the pistachio ice cream from the freezer and allow to soften up a little without allowing it to melt. Put the ice cream into a large bowl. Add the cooled down milk mixture, three quarters of the chopped pistachios and mix using a large metal spoon. Immediately, fill the prepared tumblers with the ice cream mix, press it down with a spatula and place in the freezer for a few hours or preferably overnight.
To serve put the ice cream in the containers in the fridge for 15 minutes, then pull the cling film to remove the ice cream from the tumblers. Arrange on a plate, garnish with honey, more pistachios and cut up fresh mango wedges.
This recipe is gluten-free. For lactose-free and vegan options use a dairy-free ice cream.
Quick Pineapple Turmeric Ice Cream
Not only is it delicious, this iced dessert is healthy and quick to prepare. I have given it a boost of goodness by adding a small quantity of fresh turmeric. And to finish off some Maltese grapes, in season now.
You will need:
3 large bananas
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 fresh pineapple
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric root
1 teaspoon agave [optional]
Peel and chop the pineapple. Peel and chop the bananas and coat them with the lemon juice.
Place in the freezer for a few hours until they are completely frozen. Then put all the ingredients together with the turmeric and agave [optional] in a high-speed blender and process until the mixture is creamy.
You can serve immediately [soft serve] and I usually use a piping bag to serve in individual glasses or refreeze in a large bowl as I did on tv and once it is frozen use an ice cream scoop to serve.
This recipe is vegan, lactose free and gluten free
Ice Cream in Baked Filo Crust
You will need:
4 large sheets of filo pastry
3 tbsp olive oil
200g ice cream
60g fresh strawberries
40g mix of raw pistachio nuts and almonds
60g mixed fruit of your choice to decorate
You will also need a muffin tin.
Prepare the ice cream filling by mixing the ice cream with a large metal spoon. Add the strawberries, the almonds and pistachio nuts and return to the freezer to solidify.
Prepare the muffin tin by brushing it with olive oil.
Open up the filo pastry and use a pair of scissors to cut into wide strips and then cut the strips into squares.
Brush each square of filo pastry with olive oil and cover the bottom of each mould in the muffin tray. Repeat with another layer of filo squares, each time brushing with olive oil and add them on top of each other to make another layer of filo squares.
Repeat again with the rest of the filo pastry and gently push the top layer with the tips of your fingers so that the pastry takes the form of the mould.
Preheat the oven. Place the muffin tin on the middle shelf and bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they will easily burn.
Remove the muffin tray from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once you are ready to serve, place the pastry cases next to each other on a large platter or use individual plates. Fill each pastry case with a scoop of ice cream and top with fresh fruit.
For a gluten-free option use gluten-free pastry and roll it out very thinly, with one layer required for the crust. Replace the nuts with chocolate chips for a nut-free option and, for a lactose-free and vegan recipe use a dairy-free ice cream.
Pina Colada Ice Cream Slice
You will need:
1kg vanilla or coconut ice cream
100g coconut or coconut flour
150g tinned, chopped pineapple
50g maraschino cherries
1 vanilla pod
6 pineapple rings and 6 maraschino cherries for assembling the ice cream
Cling film and a large loaf tin
Soften the ice cream by leaving it in the fridge for 15 minutes. In the meantime, line a loaf tin with cling film and let it overhang from the sides. Place the pineapple rings next to each other on the bottom of the loaf tin. In the centre of each pineapple ring place a maraschino cherry.
Put the coconut in a blender and grind it until it becomes very fine. Instead, you may wish to use ready-made coconut flour which already has a very fine texture and is easily available in most supermarkets.
Empty the ice cream into a large bowl and mix it with a large metal spoon. Chop up the pineapples and maraschino cherries into small pieces and add to the ice cream. Add the coconut. Use a large metal spoon to mix the ice cream until it is consistent. Pour the ice cream mix into the loaf tin and press down by using a spatula. Top with pineapple rings next to each other and a cherry in the middle. Cover with cling film. Freeze to firm up for at least 4 hours but leaving it in the freezer overnight is better.
To serve, take out of the freezer and remove from the loaf tin by pulling the cling film. Place on a serving dish, allow it to soften for 5 minutes before slicing it. At this stage the ice cream could be stored in the freezer again for a few hours before it is served.
This recipe is gluten-free and nut-free. For lactose-free and vegan options use a dairy-free ice cream.
Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow the page on facebook
For more Healthy frozen desserts:
X Kidz 100% Fruit Smoothie by Plasmon at Vivian Corp
Plant based drinks by Alpro at Good Earth Distributors
Fresh fruit and vegetables from Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto for organic