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Robin McDouall’s tomato ice.

Jane Grigson calls it ice cream, which as we should expect of her is more accurate but also less likely to get anyone to try this bracing medium for shellfish. Simplicity itself for a summery starter that nonetheless would be welcomed any time but the coldest depth of winter. This is the version Mrs. Grigson published in her Vegetable Book. The quotations in the recipes are from the book.

  • heirloom_tomatoes.jpg“2 huge, or 3 large tomatoes”
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • tomato ketchup (Heinz or ‘Cowboy’ from Rhode Island)
  • about ½ heavy cream, whipped until stiff
  • salt and pepper

  1. Peel, seed and core the tomatoes, then puree them.
  2. “Add the remaining ingredients in the given order. Freeze at the lowest possible temperature, until firm.”


-As Mrs. Grigson notes, an even simpler tomato ice from Ruth Lowinsky appears in “a beautifully produced cookery book of the thirties, Lovely Food, published by the Nonesuch Press in 1931.”

-In full: “Make a puree of raw tomatoes and strain it through a sieve. Flavour with a little salt and pepper and freeze slightly.”

-You will want to peel and seed the tomatoes first, as before.

-Mrs. Grigson again: “The slight freezing turns… the mixture into a delicious mush: serve it in glasses with wholemeal bread and butter.”