Mrs. Charles Darwin's Nesselrode Pudding Ice Cream

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Recipe for Mrs. Charles Darwin's Nesselrode Pudding Ice Cream, a historic recipe from the beloved wife of Charles Darwin.


  • 1 pint double cream
  • 1/2 pint milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 2 ounces sugar
  • 1 ounce ground almonds
  • 8 ounces dried fruit, chopped
  • 1 small wine glass of brandy (the original recipe suggests maraschino; you could use any fruit liqueur if you prefer)


  1. If your dried fruit includes glace cherries, large raisins, etc., chop them into smaller pieces. Pour the glass of brandy over them and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Split open the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the tiny seeds into the cream along with the pieces of pod. Bring cream and milk to the boil.
  3. beat egg yolks with the sugar. When nice and creamy beat in the ground almonds. Discard the vanilla pod pieces and pour the hot cream and milk onto the egg yolk mixture. beat well. Transfer the custard to a double boiler and, stirring all the time, cook over a medium heat until the custard thickens. Have patience, it may take ten minutes or more and it is important not to let it boil.
  4. Remove it from the heat, add the brandy and fruit and give it a good stir. Leave the custard to cool. Refrigerate. When thoroughly chilled pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you do not have a machine put the mixture into a suitable container and freeze for a couple of hours. When the ice cream begins to harden round the edges give it a good stir and freeze again. For a really creamy consistency you might need to repeat this. The ice cream will need to soften in a refrigerator for some time before serving. For just how long will depend on your container and the temperature of your refrigerator — 30 minutes or longer.