Ginger Icecream with Kumquats

Made for Christmas one year. Takes a bit of time to make/prepare. But so what … it’s special, so you can do it weeks in advance, and just pull it out of the freezer on the day (about 45 minutes before serving).


  • Icecream
    • ¾ pint/450ml milk
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 3oz/75g sugar
    • ¼ pint/150ml double (or whipping) cream
    • “enough” preserved ginger (the stuff preserved in syrup that you can buy in jars)
  • Crystallised Kumquats
    • 6-7 kumquats
    • 2oz/50g caster sugar
    • enough water to make a thin syrup – a bit less than ¼ pint/150ml
  • Base (Optional. Fwiw, I dithered about this, but in the end I added it. Wouldn’t make it any other way now.)
    • 4oz/125g crushed biscuits (half digestives, half ginger nuts)
    • 2oz/75g butter, melted


  • Making the icecream. Add the ground ginger to the milk in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
  • Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until thick, and pale yellow in colour.
  • Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring all the time. I returned the mixture to a thick and heavy cast iron saucepan, and stirred over a gentle heat until the custard thickened. However, the mixture must not boil, so it might be safer doing this in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Whip the cream until it makes soft peaks (that slowly and gracefully topple over when you lift the beaters). Fold the cream into the egg custard. Pour into a freezer container, and freeze for about an hour.
  • Finely chop the preserved ginger – to your taste (too much is overpowering, too little is insipid). Remove the ice cream from the freezer, and beat in the ginger.
  • Return the icecream to the freezer for another hour or so.


  • Meanwhile, prepare the kumquats by slicing them thinly. You want enough slices to lay in two even rows along the bottom of a 1lb loaf tin.
  • In a wide pan, bring the sugar and water to the boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the kumquat slices, and simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes, until the peel is tender. Set aside and allow to cool.


  • Assembling – Line a 1lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper (or clingfilm?), and lay the crystallised kumquat slices in two rows along the bottom.
  • Take the icecream from the freezer, beat again, and spoon into the loaf tin, making sure it is packed well around the kumquats.
  • Return to the freezer for an hour.


  • Prepare the crumb base (optional) by crushing the biscuits in a food processor, or in a bag with a rolling pin. Mix in the melted butter, and allow to cool.
  • Remove the icecream from the freezer, and pack a layer of the crumb base evenly across the top. Press it down, and make sure the top is level and smooth.
  • Return to the freezer until such time as you want to serve it. Take it out of the freezer, and pop it into the fridge 45 minutes to an hour before serving, it should be just the right consistency.

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