you’re not into making choices, wicked witches, poppy fields…

So, I recently became in possession of 1kg of poppyseeds.

From Moore Wilson‘s grocery store of course, and while they’re not all-bulk, I guess they’ve seen enough people come and go to only stock their poppyseeds writ large and behind the counter. Ask for them by name. I only wanted some to make the dressing for this bean salad, and assumed rakishly that I could use up the rest with ease. But, like some cruel, curve-of-the-earth perspective trick, whenever I walked towards the bag it seemed to grow bigger and bigger, poppyseeds regenerating themselves when removed by the incremental spoonful.

Actually it’s not as dramatic as that. There is in fact…no drama. The bag of poppyseeds can sit pretty much forever on the shelf waiting to be used. It’s just that their plentiful existence has caused me to consider them pretty closely, and what I could do with at least some of them.

Unfortunately a perfunctory search of recipes didn’t serve up anything too inspiring. And then I wondered, as I always wonder, if they’d make a decent ice cream, especially since I had some lemons lurking round that Tim’s mum had given us. Should I do a custard based ice cream? A semifreddo thing? That would’ve meant buying ingredients, and we’re trying to save money by using up things we have in the cupboard. What I did have however, as always, was canned coconut milk. And so…that’s all I used. I didn’t even make a coconut milk custard, like I do for my Chocolate Ice Cream recipe. I guess it’s a slight stretch to call this ice cream now, but it’s a stretch I’m going to make. It sets so solid that all you can do is cut it with a knife like that’s what you meant to do in the first place, and it’s truly delicious.

I still have a little Cocoa Sorbet left in the freezer but decided that two ice creams on the hop would be practical. I can’t remember how I justified it, I think it was something like “I love ice cream!”

Lemon Poppyseed Ice Cream

  •  2 x 400ml cans plain, full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Juice and zest of 2-3 lemons (depending on the juiciness)
  • 3 tablespoons poppyseeds

In a large pan, gently heat the coconut milk and sugar, stirring, till the sugar has dissolved. Continue to gently heat and stir for another five minutes then remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.

Stir in the lemon juice and zest, and pour the mixture into a loaf tin (depending on how much lemon juice you used and the size of your loaf tin there may be a bit too much mixture) Carefully – don’t spill it like I did – place in the freezer. Allow to partially freeze, then stir it briskly with a fork or small whisk, then stir in the poppyseeds (at this stage, so they don’t all sink to the bottom) and return it to the freezer. To serve, cut thick slices.

I love this ice cream. Firstly it’s so easy to make. Just stir and pour. It has a popsicle-fresh, clean sweet lemony goodness, a thick and icy but still pleasing texture, and the nuttishly flavoursome poppyseeds delivered lovingly to your mouth in each spoonful. The coconut flavour isn’t overly pronounced, but whatever you do recognise will only be enhanced by the other ingredients. And if you have poppyseeds around already, and you’re lucky enough to either have a lemon tree or a lemon benefactor, then it’s a very, very inexpensive recipe. You could always leave the poppyseeds out and use a mix of lemon and orange juice and zest. Toasted coconut stirred through instead of the poppyseeds might work too. Play round and see what you like, although I do recommend first just trying this recipe itself – the summery, zingy lemon with the poppyseeds is pretty lovely.

My poppyseed adventuring didn’t end there, as, deciding on ‘both’ instead of ‘which’, I also made a lemon poppyseed cake (using this recipe here). Was it overkill? Most definitely not.

The very opposite of the ice cream, this cake is soft, buttery, and lush, the lemon flavour absorbed into the golden grit of the polenta and almonds to produce something wildly good. Pictured here is, sadly, the last piece.

Tim and I had an amazing night at Aloe Blacc’s concert on Thursday – he was an absolute diamond performer with a stupefyingly lovely voice and hugely comfortable stage presence. We took some photos, which you can see here and here. Tonight we’re going to the Wellington Laneway show which should be fun as, and if you’re in Wellington and want tickets they’re available for purchase here.

In our travel plan developments…we bought tickets to see Wicked in London! It sorta feels like the only appropriate response is a youthful OMG.

Title from: the song of the same name from the late Jonathan Larson’s musical 30/90, which I was able to see performed by a local theatre group a couple of years ago. It was fairly thrilling then, so one can only speculate what the Lear Jet-voiced Raul Esparza would have been like in the lead role in his day.

Music lately:

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Round and Round from Before Today, strangely alluring with its “na na naaah” opening deceptively evoking the sort of music that plays when you’re put on hold on the phone, swirling into something uplifting and exciting and…swirly. He’ll be at Laneway too, so.

Sadly not at Laneway or anywhere near my line of vision, is Idina Menzel, whose album I Stand – which still feels recent-ish – became three years old the other day. You go, Idina. While her debut Still I Can’t Be Still remains a flawless highpoint for me, I Stand is fantastic and I hope she continues to write music. And that I actually see her sing one day for real.

Next time: I made some gingerbread cut-out cookies but it has been heavy on the sweet things lately so I might instead do the pasta I made tonight with a raw tomato sauce. Either way: delicious.

17 thoughts on “you’re not into making choices, wicked witches, poppy fields…

  1. Hannah says:

    Oh. My. God. That ice cream? Oh. My. God. You're a genius! I adore lemon desserts, I adore poppyseeds, I adore easy recipes, I'm coming around to coconut, and I'm lactose intolerant. YOU ARE A GENIUS.

    And you've also reminded me that I've been meaning to make my mum's poppyseed cake since I started cooking for the blog… in April 2010.


  2. Sadako says:

    I'm not a big ice cream fan but I still want to eat this! (Yeah, I know, not liking ice cream is crazy but I blame an early lactose intolerance/milk allergy type thing.)


  3. Georgi Hampton says:

    I really like the bowl! And also your description of 'Round and Round' — it's such a randomly good song. I didn't realise Laneway were doing a wee Wellington show otherwise I might've travelled to it ..!


  4. Millie @ Gusty Gourmet says:

    ok, so the question that's been nagging at me ever since you tweeted about this: 1kg of poppyseeds – prohibitively expensive or reasonably priced? (I suppose I could have found out myself, but then there's the high likelihood I'd be leaving with a kg of poppyseeds no matter what the answer.. but I guess that wouldn't be so bad, because then I could make this ice cream! yum!)


  5. Mrs Cake says:

    You, uh, need an excuse to have more than one ice-cream on hand? 😉 That looks tasty, though – I'm going to have to try your lemon poppyseed cake, it looks so dense and moist and scrummy.


  6. Tunde says:

    Ohhh !! This looks so delicious and I 'm sure it was. Cake and ice cream, definitely can't go wrong with that. I wonder how much you can eat of both before someone gets a false postive in a drug test.


  7. hungryandfrozen says:

    Hannah: Yay! Also, look forward to seeing your mum's poppyseed cake recipe 🙂

    Sadako: Fair enough. But this truly is good stuff 🙂

    Georgi: Yeah, the Auckland show was more heavily promoted…and thanks, I love that bowl too, can't remember how I got it, am guessing an opshop or something.

    Millie: I totally can't remember, which I hope means it wasn't too expensive?

    Pod and Three Peas: Thanks!

    Mrs Cake: Ah, my mistake, of course not!

    Camila: Thank you!

    Tunde: Haha. Hopefully I don't find out anytime soon.

    Delaney: Hey, it does too. Nice spotting. Would be sooo good with tropical fruit or indeed with pineapple juice in it instead of lemon juice and poppyseeds…

    PFx: Only a dealer of ice cream (and a pusher…)


  8. Kay says:

    Hi, By the way, the bowl is Royal Daulton circa 1950s and I found it at a school gala day in the “Things that didn't sell” box.

    Was a relief to find out that our 'bug' was a legitimate virus and not a violent reaction to my version of your mixed berry fool recipe we'd had the night before. Phew! Was a bit worried for a while.

    Hope you are bunkered down safely and survive the Rugby Sevens aftermatch shenanigans.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Haha, Sue, if you have a look at the links below, you'll see that one kg of poppyseed can be used up in less than a year. 🙂

    Hungryandfrozen: Poppyseeds are susceptible to high humidity (which we have in NZ), will go rancid after a while, but if you store them in the freezer (same as coffee etc) they're gonna last forever.

    Another Sue 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s