Last year a friend offered me some of her grape glut. Delighted (such a harvest feels especially exotic and precious in England), I went over to her house to pick a bowlful. But there were so many grapes that my pickings didn’t even put a dent in the crop and I wished for more bowls. (For the full story, and recipes, see here and here.) This year though, I have learnt my lesson, and when the grape glut call came once again I returned with all the bowls I could find and none of my English-restraint.

So now I have eight kilos of grapes. Many are eaten fresh, a huge bowl of them in the kitchen gradually depleted over a weekend. Some go in salad with leftover roast chicken shredded with chicory, celery and walnuts – a colourful moment of crunch amidst the stodge of Autumn.

Most is turned into grape syrup which keeps as long as jam and is endlessly useful. It brings sweetness and a tart kick to gravy, a pomegranate molasses punch to salad dressing, and it drizzled over pancakes it is a thing of wonder. I also discover that it can be used to flavour no-churn ice-cream…

Hero Harvest: no-churn grape ice-cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Serves 6-8

Hero Harvest: no-churn grape ice-cream

A lilac bowl of loveliness. The work of moments this no-churn ice cream is a great way to use up grapes. The leftover syrup is brilliant on pancakes too.

  • 1 397g tin condensed milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • Up to 120ml grape syrup, plus extra to serve
  • Grapes, to serve
  1. Pour the condensed milk and cream into a bowl and whisk to soft peaks.
  2. Stir in 60ml of grape juice and taste. Depending on the strength of your syrup, you may find you don’t need all of it so taste and stir more in gradually until you feel the flavour is rich and grape-y but not sickly (remember the flavours will be deadened by freezing so don’t hold back too much).
  3. Whisk back to soft peaks, spoon into tubs and freeze overnight.
  4. To serve, scoop into bowls, drizzle with extra syrup and pop a couple of grapes on the side.
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