1.5 cups cream
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
60g slivered almonds
500g ripe cherries
1/4 cup water
2 strips orange rind
2 teaspoons redcurrant jelly
Heat the cream in a saucepan until is it bubbling on the edges.
Beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and gradually add the hot cream, stirring constantly. (NB wooden spoon is best.)
Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat, stirring until it has lightly thickened. Be careful not to let it boil. Remove from heat, flavour with vanilla, and stir occasionally till tepid. At this point, clingwrap over the surface will stop the custard forming a skin. Once it's cool, put it in the fridge.
While this custard mixture is cooling, toast the almond slivers on a tray in the oven, where they will burn extremely quickly if you don't watch them. Turn them once or twice till golden brown, then let cool on the tray. If you do this in advance, put them in a glass jar with a good lid and keep them in the fridge, but it's best to do it all together as the almonds stay crunchier.
Put cherries in a pan with water and orange rind, cover and leave to cook over a gentle heat until they are very soft. Add the redcurrant jelly, stir and let cool until you can remove the pips from the cherries. Puree stoned cherries in a food processor or blender, along with the bit of syrup in the pan. The puree should make one to one-and-a-quarter cups and it will contain tiny bits of cherry. Let it cool.
Mix cherry puree with custard. It should be a lurid fuchsia colour. If you're using an ice-cream maker, freeze the mixture acording to the directions, adding the toasted almonds at the finish.
Otherwise, freeze the ice-cream in metal trays in the freezer (personally I find a largish round cake pan is good) till it's just firm, then take it out and beat it thoroughly to mush with an electric beater, to break up the crystals. Add the nuts to the mush and return to freezer.
Best eaten within a day of freezing, or the nuts start to lose their crunch.
Serves four without accompaniments, six with. Suggested accompaniments: cherry compote, little meringues, langues de chat -- but probably not all of these things at once.