New Summer Favourites

5 June 2009

May, for me, was a rather disappointing month – having had to give up a trip to South America with my dear friends at the last minute got me a bit more down than I expected. Still, I had some fun work shooting outside for these cool people and the arrival of summer has definitely been cheering me up. I’ve been spending time in the garden growing fruit and vegetables – my least favourite part of which is battling against snails! Scattering egg shells and using copper tape around the bed seems to be doing the trick so far (I don’t like the idea of using pellets), but please let me know if you have any other tips. But apart from that, it is therapeutic and our cat loves munching salad leaves from the ground too.

Encouraged by this gorgeous weather, I started getting into more ‘churning’ action too :) I was looking for some new flavour combinations and couldn’t resist trying out a couple that I found in Tessa Kiros’s beautiful book, Venezia.

The first recipe I tried is Zabaglione ice cream. Being a custard fanatic, it’s no wonder I love Zabaglione – you can add other flavours like vanilla, cinnamon or lemon zest, but as Tessa says I like mine simple too, making it just with egg yolks, sugar and Marsala, served still warm. It reminds me of when I tasted it in Rome where it was served with wild strawberries.

Although I knew this flavour was going to work as ice cream, I was still excited to taste it and it turned out lovely indeed. Tessa’s recipe was rather on the sweet side, so I decided to stick to my basic recipe with an addition of berry swirl, an idea that I found in David’s book. It’s delicious on its own, or served with fruits.

The other summery recipe is called Sgroppino – it’s a kind of lemon slushie for adults mainly served in Northern Italy – lemon ice cream blend with a little prosecco and vodka. What intrigued me about this recipe was using lemon ice cream, not lemon sorbet (there are some versions using sorbet too). I’m not normally a fan of fruit ice creams as they tend to lose the intensity of the fruit flavours, but this one works as the lemon flavour remains strong and I loved the milkiness with a touch of bubbly :)

You can add more prosecco and vodka if you would like, but like Tessa, I prefer to enjoy this more as a dessert rather than a boozy drink – you don’t want to pass out for the afternoon! I actually added limoncello instead of vodka that I made a while ago and it worked just as well. You can serve this as a palate cleanser instead of a dessert. I didn’t have a chance to try this last time I was in Venice, so I shall look forward to enjoying it hopefully sometime soon…

Zabaglione ice cream

For the custard

4 large egg yolks
85g caster sugar
250ml whole milk
250ml double cream
80ml Marsala (not too sweet)

For the berry swirl

80g raspberries
40g strawberries
20g caster sugar (you can adjust to taste depending on how sweet the fruit is)
1 tablespoon vodka

Place the milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Pour the warm milk into the yolks, stirring constantly.

Place the mixture back in the saucepan and put on a medium heat, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Strain into a clean bowl, cool over ice-cold water then add the double cream and Marsala. Chill the mixture in the fridge, churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make the berry swirl just before churning the ice cream. Puree the fruits and sugar in a blender, strain through a fine sieve. Add the vodka.

When the ice cream is ready, pour into a container, layering and swirling the puree into it as you go along.


For the lemon ice cream

Zest of 2 lemons, cut into big strips
220g caster sugar
160ml lemon juice
250ml double cream

For the Sgroppino

200g lemon ice cream
4 tablespoons chilled prosecco
2 tablespoons chilled vodka, or limoncello

To make the ice cream, place the lemon zest and sugar in a saucepan with 120ml water, bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently on a low heat for about 10 minutes until it’s syrupy. Strain through a sieve and discard the zest; cool the syrup then add the lemon juice.

Add the double cream and chill the mixture in the fridge, churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

To make Sgroppino, you need to make the ice cream the day before so that it’s firm enough not to melt too quickly. Just scoop the ice cream into a blender, add the prosecco and vodka and whiz briefly. Serve immediately.

Food - Sweet    Seasons    58 comments    Permalink

  • What great story and pictures as usual; you are fantastic. Love your Blog!
    Regards from Dubai

    Posted by Chris Widmer | 5 June 2009 #
  • such wonderful spring photos of your garden. i am also a custard fanatic and these look amazing. glad you are back with a new post!

    Posted by Aran | 5 June 2009 #
  • Lovely post Keiko! So nice to see what you are working on these days. I love Tessa’s books too (although I don’t have this one yet… I’ll have to add it to my list!)


    Posted by L | 5 June 2009 #
  • As always, the pictures are gorgeous. And I can’t wait to try that recipe! It’s been unseasonably cold here, so it can be something for me to look forward to.

    Posted by Elle | 6 June 2009 #
  • love your photos! and that ice cream looks perfect for summer! enjoy!

    Posted by kat | 6 June 2009 #
  • keiko, you garden is more than lovely~
    and the ice-cream looks soooooo delicious~~

    Posted by shereen | 6 June 2009 #
  • このアイスクリームも美味しそう!

    Posted by ura | 6 June 2009 #
  • I love how silkily the ice cream set. The swirl is quite beautiful, too, as is your garden! Unfortunately I can’t give any tips, as I recently managed to kill my basil :/

    Posted by Manggy | 6 June 2009 #
  • So so dreamy…

    Posted by g. | 6 June 2009 #
  • Simply gorgeous. Always so much inspiration here, Keiko. I love Tessa Kiros’s Apples for Jam, and I don’t think I’ll be able to resist buying this one as well.

    Posted by Rebecca | 6 June 2009 #
  • I just got an ice cream maker, and this is the perfect recipe to make. I am so excited. I love your photographs. Simply beautiful.

    Posted by Eralda | 6 June 2009 #
  • I am glad to read another great post and look at somemore beautiful photos. Thanks for another beautiful update, Keiko. :)

    Posted by Nur Suraya | 6 June 2009 #
  • What a wonderful blog you have, Keiko! I love your pictures! That peony picture is just stunning. Please come to visit my blog as well! :)

    Posted by olga | 6 June 2009 #
  • Your garden look beautiful Keiko chan and your ice cream too! I don’t have ice cream machine, but I will try to do this recipe manually, thank you for sharing and have a nice summer!

    Posted by eva | 7 June 2009 #
  • Sorry you couldn’t make it to the South America with your friends, Keiko. It looks like they had fabulous time there.. (But remember -you’re always welcome to visit in Estonia, as we spoke about back in Cambridge:)
    I love the sound of that zabaglione ice cream!!

    Posted by Pille @ Nami-Nami | 7 June 2009 #
  • Hi Keiko! Beautiful pics as always… I love zabaglione and I agree with you about limoncello instead of vodka!
    Great great work :)

    Posted by chiara.u | 7 June 2009 #
  • I didn’t even know that Tessa Kiros had a new book out, how exciting! Thanks too for the reminder of just how lush and lovely a Sgroppino can be. I look forward to enjoying one very soon!

    Posted by Mari | 7 June 2009 #
  • Incredible photos, always an inspiration! Never miss your blog. I love sgroppino’s and have made them with lemon sorbet, I will have to try with lemon ice cream or sherbet.
    Cheers, Jess

    Posted by Plumpest Peach | 7 June 2009 #
  • Really gorgeous pictures! I do ice cream every weekend now (fruits are so delicious!). I’ll try Zabaglione, it seems easy and tasty!

    Posted by Dominique (de vous à moi...) | 8 June 2009 #
  • Hello K,

    I’ve always loved the lemon sorbet & Prosecco concoction, but just never knew it is called Sgroppino. The version with ice-cream sounds, and definitely looks, lovely, too.

    I’ve recently been pointed to a website for Japanese people living in the UK where you share your recipes with photos. I didn’t know you are a contributer there! Intersting ones indeed.

    Posted by chika | 8 June 2009 #
  • ohh keiko as always your post is breathtaking! I love the Tessa Kiros book too and also use limoncello in my Sgroppino instead of Vodka. Must try to make the lemon ice cream – I usually just get it at the ijssalon near my house but you make it sound so easy!

    Posted by Valisa | 8 June 2009 #
  • Love your site.Wonderful pictures and recipes. Thank you. As for the snails and slugs-Beer, the least expensive beer you can find. Place jar lids or I use Styrofoam cups and bowls cut down to 3-4cm.and placed into the ground so the edge is just above ground level. Fill with beer. Empty and rinse out every few days until the colonies are depleted.

    Posted by ahmcguffin | 9 June 2009 #
  • Hi all, thank you so much for your kind notes as always.

    Lara, Rebecca, Mari, Valisa – I love her ‘Piri Piri Starfish’ too, it’s about the food in Portugal and really lovely.

    Ura-san – ザバイオーネにもいろんなバリエーションがありますが、やはりマルサラを合わせることが多いようです。ウォッカは風味付けというより、果物のピュレがガチガチに凍ってしまわないように加えます。

    Aran, Shereen, Manggy, Eva – the garden is actually my client’s, it’s a beautiful country garden and I wish I had one like it!

    Manggy – I know, basil seems very popular with snails!

    Pille – I was really gutted… but yes, we’ve been talking about visiting you in Estonia sometime – it’d be wonderful :)

    Chiara, Valisa – it’s nice to know that you love limoncello too :)

    Ahmcguffin – thank you so much for the tips, I might try it but I’m not sure if I can handle dealing with even the dead slugs (I’ll scream and run away)...!

    Posted by keiko | 9 June 2009 #
  • Again, beautiful pictures. Always a treat to view your world. Get on Twitter!! :)

    Posted by enoxisureka | 9 June 2009 #
  • I was actually going to tell you the same thing about using saucers (or plates with shallow edges) of beer…we did this in my garden growing up and it worked wonderfully! I know it’s gross, but definitely the easiest thing we ever tried.

    Posted by Brittany | 9 June 2009 #
  • What a wonderful garden! I wish I had one too. I have a small balcony that I filled with flowers, heirloom tomato & pepper plants, various herbs..and there is even a tiny lime tree that I am anxiously waiting for its produce..I really can’t imagine what I would do if I had a big garden like the one in the photos…start farming perhaps :))

    Posted by Foodie Notes | 10 June 2009 #
  • Wow! sounds delicious…pictures are gorgeous.

    Posted by Dave Jones | 10 June 2009 #
  • こんにちは。

    Posted by y_and_r_d | 11 June 2009 #
  • Your blog always inspires me.
    Tessa’s book is beautiful, I just look, not really cooking from it.
    I know I should….
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

    Posted by milismilis | 11 June 2009 #
  • The ice cream looks amazing, and I love your cute lanterns in the garden. It’s too bad you had to miss out on your trip… hopefully your summer only improves from this point! Your photography is truly stunning, and I’m always excited to see a new post on Nordljus. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted by Meaghan | 11 June 2009 #
  • Hello, oh dear… it’s dissapointing for me as well, to hear you missed the trip. You poor thing…

    Though your stunning food are always welcome for my eyes. You made a beautiful red pattern for ice cream (which I had done similar thing before and had not happen like you did). Really take care and enjoy the summer!

    Posted by kitsch-en | 11 June 2009 #
  • Hi keiko san,
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog!
    i discovered your blog a while ago and I am always impressed with your beautiful work! Very inspiring!

    Posted by natsumi | 11 June 2009 #
  • fantastic photos as usual. Really captured the essence of the season.Love the woodland shot.

    Posted by matt | 16 June 2009 #
  • Oh, so glad to see the new post. Amazing photos as usual. Excited to try the ice cream AND pass on the recipe to my father!

    Posted by sj | 17 June 2009 #
  • Such a beautiful photos Keiko. I’ve always love Zabaglione, and to turn this into Zabaglione ice cream is such a brilliant idea.

    Posted by elra | 17 June 2009 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    i admire your blog since I discoverd it and i look from time to time to see your wonderful photos and your marvellous and unique taste. BUT although i have friends in Venice and fly often there I NEVER GET from them the recipe from SGROPPINO. Thank you so much for it. I´ll try it this weekend.
    I´m spanish and live in Cologne. Some time ago there was a wonderful japan patissier girl who works for “Törtchen Törtchen” ( a nice place to get cake) and since she is gone the fine taste is away. Germans don´t get the balance for the sweetness and the other tastes. Pity. But I must think of you and your TASTE. Funny, isn´t it?
    Big hug!

    Posted by SOLE | 18 June 2009 #
  • dreamy, so dreamy. loved every moment of it!

    Posted by kiss my spatula | 20 June 2009 #
  • beautiful photos Keiko. As I was reading the post I thought Limoncello would be nice here and you were thinking the same.

    Posted by barbara | 21 June 2009 #
  • Hi,

    A while ago you have been nominated to Inspiring Food Photography poll and I would want also to give you Beautiful Blog
    award (replacement for IFP event):
    If you agree place link or badge linking to the B B List somewhere on your site or mention it in the post and I will place your link on the list.


    Posted by Coffee and Vanilla | 22 June 2009 #
  • Hi, Keiko,
    Sgroppino was a hit last weekend!!!!!
    My husband put a bit more of Vodka but not much and the taste is genuine the original one.
    Maybe in bars they put less creme double or change it for milk cream. But I definitely prefer it as you wrote with 250 gr. Creme double!
    Thank you very much!

    Posted by SOLE | 22 June 2009 #
  • mmmm ….zabaglione ice cream, love it ^^! and I love your pictures, they’re really beautiful! XOXO

    Posted by gine | 22 June 2009 #
  • UNBELIEVABLE pictures – looks like you’ve got a great garden going there, and oh, the food!

    Posted by Bri | 23 June 2009 #
  • I love your photos, they’re amazing! They are just the kind of photos I love to look at, and that I would like to be able to take myself. I am just getting into photography and am looking at getting a DSLR camera. What kind of camera do you have?

    Posted by Karen | 24 June 2009 #
  • Lovely to see your beautiul pictures again Keiko. It makes me want to get to the garden too!

    Posted by bea | 25 June 2009 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    I love your pictures.(and your blog) :) Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Posted by Adriana | 30 June 2009 #
  • Wow, I don’t know how I got here but I love it! Beautiful site, beautiful imagery. It’s been a dreary week here in Mtl & then I get to see this blog! Happy days again! lol. Lovely, thanks for making my day.
    Can you share with me, info on what camera you use?

    Posted by ChantaleP | 30 June 2009 #
  • Those photos are inspiring and simply beautiful ! I want to test the icecream !!!

    Posted by stéphanie | 30 June 2009 #
  • Please tell us where your “Happy Glasses” come from! They are is your site!
    Kristin and Chris Ann

    Posted by LoveFeast Table | 30 June 2009 #
  • What a dream it would be to have a dish of this incredible ice cream while enjoying your enchanting garden! Such a beautiful and inspiring post!

    Posted by lisa (dandysugar) | 1 July 2009 #
  • Snails and slugs? In the USA we have a product called “Sluggo” (TINY iron sulfate-based pellets) that is supposed to be OK for organic, not toxic to pets and actually fertilizes plants. The pellets are under a quarter-inch long, dark colored and unobtrusive. There’s also the old shallow pan or dish filled with beer (in which they drown). If you don’t have beer, you mix water, a little flour, a pinch of yeast and a little sugar and put that in the pan.

    Posted by sj | 3 July 2009 #
  • HI. I love your beautiful yummy blog! I have been meaning to write and let you know I added you to my new food blog sidebar recently & enjoy going to your blog as a daily read. Just wanted to stop by and introduce myself! Have a great day.

    Posted by miss A | 3 July 2009 #
  • Keiko, I’m so glad the summer months are warming your spirits.

    Posted by dennis | 4 July 2009 #
  • I love the pictures but it’s hot and humid in Florida so the Ice Creams are very tempting right now.

    Posted by Sheila | 5 July 2009 #
  • Hi Keiko, Are the pictures by your Canon Rebel XT? Just wondering which camera and lens you used cause the pictures and their dof are gorgeous. The ice cream looks heavenly! Cheers

    Posted by eatingmachine | 6 July 2009 #
  • Hi everyone, thank you so much again for all your kind notes.

    Brittany, sj – thank you so much for your tips, my copper tape seems to be doing the trick so far, but I’ll try your methods when they are back (I’m sure they will, eek!).

    Foodie Notes – your balcony sounds wonderful, it’s amazing how much you can do with a small space, isn’t it? I never thought I’d be into gardening, but it really is rewarding.

    y-and-r-d-san – 早く梅雨が明けるといいですね。無いモノねだりなのでしょうが、時々日本の夏が恋しくなります…。

    Millsmills – I can’t say I’ve been cooking from any books lately either…

    Meaghan – thank you, and yes I’m hoping to plan another trip to South America sometime…

    Natsumi-san – keep inspiring us with your beautiful creations, I really enjoy seeing things through your eyes.

    Sj – how lovely that your father makes ice cream!

    Sole – thank you so much for your feedback, and I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed it! I’ve never tasted a ‘real’ one so I can’t really compare it, but loved the tangy lemon flavour with the rich cream too :) It’s a shame about the Japanese patissier but I’m sure you can get many other lovely cakes too…

    Barbara – you can enjoy limoncello soon too, we’re thinking of you.

    Margot – thank you so much!

    Karen, Chantal, Eatingmachine – I’ve been using a Canon 5D for two years now (a Rebel XT before that), with a 90mm macro lens for most food shots.

    Kristin & Chris Ann – I believe I got them from Graham & Green in London ( but you can find similar ones at Middle Eastern/Moroccan shops.

    Lisa – it’s actually my client’s garden, I wish I had one like it!

    Miss A – thank you for letting me know!

    Dennis – thank you for your kind thought. I’m much happier this summer in this gorgeous weather, I hope you’re enjoying a lovely summer too…

    Posted by keiko | 6 July 2009 #
  • this is a bit late. but, you can get rid of snails by putting out little dishes of beer overnight. snails, slugs and pill bugs go right for it. it’s a bit icky in the morning. just throw it on your compost pile!



    Posted by rachael | 14 January 2010 #
  • I cannot wait for summer to arrive, I want to try and take some photos like yours :) And make ice cream too! I like the addition of limoncello, it’s got a nice Italian-BBQ-sitting on the patio feel to it :)

    Posted by Pudding Pie Lane | 27 March 2011 #
  • I LOVE ICE CREAM! i read that greek yogurts can be made into an ice cream too. do you have any idea about that? you can check my site to see what’s best with my favorite greek yogurt

    Posted by amy | 2 March 2012 #

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