TRIPLE STRAWBERRY SUNDAE WITH HONEY AND ALMONDS

The ice-cream sundae is a truly American invention for all that the Sicilians claim to have frozen the first sorbet in the snows of Mount Etna. The New York Times reported in the middle of World War II that US airmen, nostalgic for the taste of home, were accustomed to slinging a canful of the basic mix on to the underside of their Flying Fortresses before take-off. A high-level bombing raid would see the right stuff landed, nicely shaken and frozen solid. There must be an easier way to ice a cream.

ICE-CREAM

2 pint (290ml) plain, natural yogurt 1 pint (150ml) double cream 8oz (225g) ripe strawberries, hulled

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons caster sugar TO ASSEMBLE

4 tablespoons strawberry jam

8oz (225g) ripe strawberries V4 pint (150ml) whipping cream, well whipped

4 tablespoons runny honey 2oz (55g) toasted flaked almonds

4 crisp finger biscuits (cigar wafers are perfect)

Make the ice-cream at least 4 hours ahead. Put all the ingredients into the liquidizer and whiz to a puree.

If you have an ice-cream maker, follow the instructions as usual. If not, tip the puree into a plastic container or an ice-tray (a thin layer freezes more quickly than a thick layer, obviously), and pop it into the freezing compartment of the fridge. After an hour or two, when ice crystals have formed, take it out and whiz it up again. If you do this twice, the cream will be even smoother and lighter. The sweeter the mix, the longer it will take to freeze. Once frozen it will keep for months.

Two hours before you are ready, take it out of the freezer and leave it in the main part of the fridge to soften a little.

To assemble the sundaes, roll cubes of ice round 4 tall glasses to chill them, as if making a proper Martini.

Drop a spoonful of jam into the base of each glass, pop in a few strawberries, hulled and sliced, and spoon in the ice-cream. Pipe on a swirl of whipped cream and top with a whole strawberry or three. Trickle with honey and sprinkle with nuts. Push a small, crisp biscuit into the top of the sundae glass, and serve.

Serves 4

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