Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Flatten the vanilla pods with the back of a knife, then slit in half and scrape out the sticky seeds into the pan. Add the slit pods and the 1 tbsp of sugar to the liquid and bring to boil. Then take off heat, cool and remove the pods.
Put 100g sugar and the egg yolks into a large bowl, ideally one with a rounded base for even whisking. Using a large balloon whisk (or hand-held electric machine), beat steadily until the mixture becomes pale and thick.
Return the milk to a boil, then pour a good slurp onto the sugary yolks, beating well. Return the yolk mixture to the milk pan and whisk lightly for 2-3 mins, until the custard just begins to thicken. Place the pan on a medium-low heat and bring it almost to boiling point, whisking continually until it begins to resemble double cream.
Remove immediately. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, placed inside a bigger bowl half-full of ice and water. You now have the vanilla ice-cream base. When cool, beat in poppy seeds and 75ml of the liqueur and chill. Churn in an ice-cream machine until thick - about 15-20 mins. Scrape into a freezer-proof container and freeze until ready to serve.
For the caramelised peaches, halve and stone the peaches and cut each into 8 wedges. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan, then sprinkle in 75g sugar. Melt to a light caramel, without stirring, although you can shake the pan a little.
Carefully lay in the peaches and sprinkle over the remaining 75g sugar, shaking the pan gently to mix the contents. Stir in the basil leaves and remaining Kümmel and cook for another 5 mins.
Tip the peaches into a shallow bowl to cool, add a good splash of cold water to the caramel in the pan and reheat until it dissolves. Tip this over the peaches and cool.
For the raspberry coulis, crush most of the raspberries in a bowl with 1 tbsp sugar and lemon juice. I use a stick blender for this, but a masher would do. Set aside when smooth. Halve the passion fruits and scoop out the insides into a bowl. Cut strawberries into spears or wedges.
Spoon raspberry coulis into the base of six tall sundae glasses, then add about a quarter of the strawberries. Break over some of the biscuits, allowing one per glass, then spoon in half the peaches and some of the caramel juice. Press down quite well. Repeat the layers of strawberries, biscuits and peaches, with a little more coulis until just below the top of the glass. To assemble your knickerbocker glory
Place a small, flat round biscuit in the top of each glass, then top with a large firm scoop of ice cream. Drizzle over the passion fruit pulp, then top with the last few raspberries. Stick in a rolled tuile or cigarillo and mint sprig. Serve immediately with longhandled spoons.
For rum & raisin
Warm 8 tbsp raisins with 100ml dark rum and 3 tbsp golden caster sugar. Leave overnight and add to base before churning.
Once you have mastered the ice-cream base, it's simple to turn it into other flavours:
For cinnamon ice cream
Omit the vanilla and infuse the milk with 2 cinnamon sticks and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
For mint ice cream
Omit the vanilla, infuse the hot milk with a handful mint sprigs, then leave to cool. Remove the mint, return the milk to the boil and continue as stated.
748 kcalories, protein 11g, carbohydrate 769g, fat 44 g, saturated fat 21g, fibre 3g, sugar 66g, salt 0.33 g
Recipe by Gordon Ramsey as featured in Good Food magazine, July 2006.
More ice cream recipes here.