Sunday, 11 December 2011

A very Gundowring Christmas

Christmas day at Gundowring is usually a sweltering occasion, it is often in the high 30’s and the Crooke family does its best to keep cool in a variety of ways, some in the pool, some in the Kiewa River, and some retreating to the relative cool of the homestead to enjoy an afternoon kip or good book. There is however one way the family always gathers to take the edge off the summer heat, and that is with the now customary after lunch treat, the Ice Cream Plum Pudding.
Fresh berry season ties in quite well with our Christmas Ice Cream Pudding
For the past 37 years Sarah and Stephen have been soaking the fruit, roasting the almonds and steeping the chestnuts and vanilla bean in milk collected from the cows. The recipe they work to coming to them from the south of France, where they say their ice cream career started in 1974. While working as cooks for a Scottish family on holiday in Cannes, Sarah stumbled upon a small ice cream churn while shopping for supplies in the backstreets of Nice. Chestnuts being a staple in the region, the recipe was imparted top them by the locals.

Stephen contemplates how many slices of Ice Cream Plum Pudding
he is going to eat this year. Lots.
Flash forward to 2003, the rest of the family had little wonder that their Christmas favourite would make it into the newly christened Gundowring Ice Cream’s flavour line up. We have been making the special Christmas treat ever since, using Ovens Valley chestnuts, fruit from South Australia and of course lovely fresh Gundowring milk. From its time honoured place on the Crooke family table, the last 9 years has seen our frozen Christmas favourite enjoy pride of place on the tables of households from Hobart to Sydney and Melbourne to Perth.

A few years ago, we decided to experiment with our other decadent Yuletide indulgence, Brandy Butter. Carefully folding brandy and vanilla in to our anglaise, we fashioned a truly delicious ice cream that can happily sit next to any traditional plum pudding.

For the traditionalists, Brandy Custard Ice Cream does wonders for a heavy Plum Pudding 
So what will your family be enjoying this Christmas? Something traditional or does your clan have a favourite that you can’t do without?

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