The summer before last, when I was pregnant with my son Bodhi, now 16 months old, my husband Carlos and I lived off the land in Central Otago for three weeks. Carlos’ parents live in Hanmer Springs, so after Christmas there, we travelled around Clyde, Cromwell, Roxburgh and Bannockburn, picking produce from apricot and walnut trees. We gathered wild thyme, caught an eel from a pond and shot wild rabbits; it was so much fun. I filled two notebooks to the brim with new recipes; a few of them feature in my latest book. Central Otago is very barren with an intense, dry heat. The scenery is dramatic and mighty; it makes you feel very small, which is cool.

Nadia’s 7th cookbook, Let’s eat! is out now. In it, she shares her favourite easy summer recipe, Black Doris mascarpone ice cream.

"This is one of the best ice-cream flavours I’ve ever had, and my home-made version is even better than the bought version as it’s so much more ‘plummy’ and not overly sweet," she says. 

"I’d say it’s halfway between a sorbet and an ice-cream — refreshing and creamy at the same time, with an intense colour and flavour." Top Spot INP

Black Doris Mascarpone Ice Cream

Serves 4

Prep time 15 minutes + at least 8 hours to freeze plums

DF (use coconut yoghurt) | GF

Black Doris plums in syrup 2 x 850g cans (reserve ½ cup syrup)

mascarpone 200g (or thick natural yoghurt for a lower-fat version)

1. Cut plums in half and remove stones. Place plums in a dish (or on a tray) lined with baking paper and freeze for at least 8 hours, or overnight, until frozen hard.

2. Place frozen plums (you may need to break them up a little into chunks) in a food processor with mascarpone and blend until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl a few times throughout to make sure everything is completely blended. Use a little of the plum syrup to loosen the mixture, if needed. 

3. Scoop into a dish or loaf tin, cover and freeze until ready to serve.

TIP: Best eaten within 1–2 days of being frozen. However, it will last a few weeks in the freezer but you will have to let it thaw for about 10 minutes on the bench (or 15 minutes in the fridge) until it  becomes easy to scoop again.

Energy 1716kj / 410.5kcal

Reported for our AA Directions Winter 2017 issue

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