Sunday, July 16, 2006

What to do with your Apricots : Bombe Marquise

This summer's apricots are beginning to drop from the trees. In the afternoon, we head up to the orchard to gather them up quickly while they're still warm from the sun. Isabelle warns us to get them all, otherwise those coming behind will step on them and we'll have apricot tracks in the kitchen.
When an apricot fresh from the tree is ready to eat, it naturally falls to the ground. You can easily squish it open and remove the pit with your fingers. The taste is sweet and honeylike, the texture almost like coulis - each one like a little bomb of nature's custard. We're challenged to find ways to use them all.
Why not a moulded ice cream treat in the old style - a Bombe Marquise? This recipe is inspired by one found in the Dictionnaire universel de cuisine pratique.

Recipe: Bombe Marquise
(serves 8)

Glace a l'abricot
1 KG (2 pounds) washed and pitted apricots
25 cl (1 cup) water
300 g. (1 1/2 cup) sugar
2 large pinches of cinnamon
the zest and juice of one lemon

Glace au vin de Chablis
20cl (3/4 cup) Chablis wine
500 g. (2 cups) sugar
1 quart or litre of water
1/2 a vanilla pod
the zest of one orange + 4 tablespoons of it's juice

Note about the Chablis
: In France this one of the white wines from the Bourgogne /Burgundy region spreading to the north of Lyon, but there are many beautiful wines made with the chardonnay grape made in many regions of the USA from the finger lakes to California. Choose a light and fruity one for your sorbet!

Prepare the apricot sorbet first. Put the fruits, peel and all, into a stewing pot with the water, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and cook until it reaches 220 degrees (F) or jelly stage, string through a fine meshed sieve or chinois, then add the lemon juice. Cool to room temp and then put into your ice cream / sorbet maker.

Note about ice cream makers: You know, the ice cream maker does not have to be very sophisticated commercial piece of equipment. In the absence of a commerically produced 'sorbetiere', place the mixture in a non-reactive bowl (like ceramic) in the freezer and mix very briefly every 5 minutes to incorporate a little bit of air. In no time, you'll have your sorbet. Give it a try.

Prepare the Chablis sorbet next. Bring the sugar and water to a boil and let it cook at a full boil until it's reduced to the three cup mark. Open the vanilla pod with the help of a small knife. Cook the sugar syrup, the opened vanilla pod, and the orange zest for 15 minutes over low heat. Remove the vanilla pod and the orange zest, let the syrup cool, and then incorporate wine and orange juice. Make into sorbet as described above.

Coat / spread the inside of your mould with apricot sorbet, a layer about 1-2 cms (1/2 inch to an inch max) thick. Replace in the freezer to solidify, and then fill it with the chablis sorbet. Let it harden in the freezer before unmolding (Dipping the mould in hot tap water or enveloping the mould with a damp dish towel that's been heated with the microwave briefly to loosen the sorbet) and serve. If you hold the frozen bombe in the freezer for a long period of time like several days, you can let it sit for 1/2 hour in the fridge to soften up slightly for easier slicing.

Note: Photos of this finished dessert are found in This post!

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Blogger wheresmymind said...

Man...buying an ice cream maker is something I've always wanted but need to buy so many other cool things first :)

12:41 AM, July 17, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

For us it's a space problem. I remember the family ice cream maker - what a big scary mess! Ice and dirty rock salt grinding away with a terrible sound, and this big scary motor ceaselessly running. It also took hours. These days you can make really nice ice cream and sorbet with very little effort and not a whole lot of stirring - it works and I don't know why we went to all the trouble with that complicated messy contraption when I was a little girl. I recently saw these portable ice cream balls, something you keep in the freezer, and when you're ready to make ice cream, you put your custard into it, and roll the ball around for 20 minutes, then voila, ice cream. I suppose we've reached a point in our ice cream culture where we realize the good qualities of a dense and rich ice cream and we don't have a need to use haut technology to whip it into a hydrogenated mousse anymore.

10:31 AM, July 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These photos remind me so much of me, growing up in France, and having picnics under the trees! Or picking up mirabelles and quetsches!

I wish I could see a pic from the Bombe marquis! ;-) Sounds delicious!

5:14 PM, July 17, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

photos coming when I serve it to guests on Wednesday...

5:23 PM, July 17, 2006  
Blogger David said...

J'adore les abricots aussi!

11:49 AM, July 19, 2006  

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