A classic French dessert of candied fruits in a custardy based no-churn ice cream, served with a light apricot coulis or sauce. Named after the signing of the Treaty of Plombières in 1858 between Napoleon III and Count Cavour.
Most Popular Ice Creams in Paris
I'd promised the children a taste of the best ice creams in Paris during the summer holidays.
The unusually dismal July temperatures, however, meant replacing ice cream with homemade vanilla macarons. But as soon as that ball o' fire returned, it was destination Berthillon on Ile Saint-Louis.
Berthillon is a Parisian institution. So much so that, come August - finally in the wonderful heat of the City of Light - their doors were... closed; shut; fermé; on holidays; en vacances, like most of Paris. Luckily, their ice creams and sorbets were being served by their more commercial neighbours. One of the tempting ice creams on Berthillon's list was Plombières ice cream, packed with candied fruits.
Where to Find the Best Candied Fruits in France
As my lucky French parents-in-law live in the Luberon near Apt, the world capital of candied fruits, I've an excuse to use Mother-in-Law's generous bulk supply from the local Candied Fruit factory: candied (crystallised) orange peel strips, lemon peel cubes, glacé cherries and - my favourite - their candied ginger.
So instead of hanging around Ile Saint-Louis for Berthillon to reopen, it was easier to make Plombières ice cream at home. Reaching for my favourite French coffee-table cookbook, France: the Beautiful Cookbook by Gilles Pudlowski with recipes from the Scotto sisters, that was it. Perfect.
- Ten egg yolks? Fabulous: whites for macarons.
- Serve with apricot jam? Ideal: I'd just made a batch of apricot and lavender jam.
- En plus, the recipe didn't even require an ice cream maker - it's no churn!
So I 'ad-Apt-ed' it, making individual portions for dessert rather than one giant ice cream. This will make a light, fruity, stress-free dessert - and even a handy dessert recipe to have on your Christmas menu.
Plombières Ice Cream Recipe
In 1858 Napoleon III met Count Cavour (Prime Minister of Sardinia) at Plombières-les-Bains in the Vosges department in Lorraine in northeastern France. As they were secretly negotiating the Treaty of Plombières, the local chef came up this dessert and has been a local speciality ever since.
Serve with macarons - don't forget you can freeze your homemade macarons too - just defrost before serving and voilà!
No-Churn Candied Fruit Ice Cream (Glace Plombières)
- 200 g (7oz) mix of candied fruits, roughly chopped
- 55 ml (2oz) Kirsch liqueur
- 1.5 l (48 fl oz) whipping cream
- 250 ml (8 fl oz) whole milk
- 10 egg yolks
- 200 g (7oz) sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 250 g (8oz) apricot jam see apricot jam recipe
- Soak the candied fruits in the Kirsch for a couple of hours. Place a bowl in the fridge in preparation for whipping the cream.
- Whisk together the egg yolks with the sugar in a large saucepan until pale and creamy. Gradually whisk in 1 litre of the cream and the milk over a moderate heat. Whisk constantly until the custard coats the spoon.
- Remove from the heat, add the almond extract and candied fruits with the Kirsch. Leave to cool, stirring from time to time.
- When the custard is completely cooled, whip the remaining 500ml of cream in the chilled bowl until it forms soft peaks.
- Fold into the custard then pour into silicone moulds. (Here, I used 12 briochette moulds.) Freeze until firm.
- When ready to serve, gently heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan. I If you prefer it smooth, strain the bits. Turn out the ice creams directly on to dessert plates.
5 Star Foodie
How delicious! I love the individual portions - very pretty!
Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
Fantastic! I love the shape and the flavors you chose..
Lisa @ tartedujour.com
Jill - what a perfect way to put your candied fruit to good use! I adore the molded ice cream, it makes it look more special than a plain scoop. I'm sure your kids were delighted!!
This looks beautiful and a lovely dessert for the holidays. What a great idea using the silicone molds for the ice cream. I need to remember that. Great idea. Have a great weekend!
Vicki, it's also a good way to deal with left-overs and handy to have some spare in the freezer!
Gorgeous looking (and tasting no doubt) dessert!
Yr so inventive Jill
I wonder if that Apt place was around in 2005 when I was briefly there painting?
They can not be a French company since they have to link to their l'heritage/histoire can they?
Thank you. It is good but I didn't invent it but the inn-keeper in Plombières-les-bains did. Yes, that factory would be around then. They've been there as long as I can remember in my 20 yrs here, although they changed the name from Apt Union to Kerry. Scots? Will need to check that one.
Love the blog. Makes me want to visit Apt again. Happy memories of the market and factory shop. Candied fruits from Apt are now appearing in the posh shops for Christmas so no excuse to try out the recipe.
Thanks! Good to know they're chic for Christmas! Let me know if you try it. It's a handy, fruity dessert to have in winter using your supplies from the pantry.
Jerome in Glasgow
Berthillon shut in August.
I've never found the right expression in English to express this.... or is it just that it's only in France that you find businesses qui ne sont pas très commerçant....? 😉
Agree with you, Jerome. Incroyable! Surely they should take their annual hols in January and create holiday jobs for students wanting to work in Paris over the summer?
Such a beautiful and elegant dessert! I have never had a candied fruit ice cream in my life...see what I have been missing out!
Enjoy your weekend!
Well, Angie, I do hope you try this. You won't be disappointed.
Sandra's Easy Cooking
It was rainy and cool here last week, but I would eat your ice cream even on a cold day! Looks stunning and very tasty with of course macarons.
Thanks Sandra, this is an ideal ice cream for a rainy day. I personally love it as a fruity winter dessert with the candied fruits and warmed sauce.
It's a while since I've been to Apt. Love their candied fruit - another quality altogether. You've just given me an idea for next summer, Jill. Need to pop in to the factory. Love glace plombières, btw. Long time since I've had that too, since you don't see it much these days so thanks for the recipe.
Their fruit is great, isn't it? I forgot to mention that in the factory shop, they have samples! It's so difficult to just pop in for a few minutes, since there are so many fruits to try: melons, pears, plums etc...
Ohh that looks diviiiine!
Nami | Just One Cookbook
The past weekend and this week has been really hot again, like summer! Reading your ice cream story and delicious ice cream shot only made me go to freezer and grab a bowl of ice cream. I'm eating while I type. 🙂 Not as fancy as yours, but I'm eating vanilla bean... Candied fruit in ice cream sounds so good! I'm missing macarons to pair with! 😉
Oh you lucky Californian girl, Nami! Here in Paris it's not cold yet but the rain clouds are hovering. I can eat ice cream at any time of year, though. Vanilla bean ice cream if it's not too sweet is simply the best.
I've heard about Berthillon ice creams - must try them next time I'm in Paris. I'm a huge fan of ice creams and especially this one that doesn't require an ice cream maker. Your children are really lucky to have a mum that makes macarons AND get to go to St - Louis! Wish I could be in their place for a day (or two)...
Well next time you're in Paris, let me know!
Mmmmm...perfect pairing, Jill! We checked out ALL the ice cream spots on Ile St-Louis...but we stuck with vanilla and chocolate. Such dull Americans 😉
Far from it, Liz. I didn't tell you that my kids went for chocolate and passion fruit sorbet (à la Pierre Hermé pairing.) Nothing to beat vanilla and chocolate classics!