Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream

This Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream makes me dream of holidays in France – and particularly of my husband’s island of Corsica.  Candied chestnuts are such a festive French treat during the holiday season but I love this light and easy dessert at any time of year. During the festive season, it’s also a welcome lighter end to a rich meal.

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Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe Pin

This post was originally published on 21 January 2012 but has now been updated to include a printable recipe card and updated text.

Mad About Chestnuts!

My youngest daughter is mad about chestnuts in all forms. If I mention this magic word, Lucie’s smile makes me melt quicker than the contents of this ice cream dish. She’s obsessed about roasted chestnuts and vacuum-packed chestnuts that we simply toss on pumpkin soup, with green beans, or in this butternut & walnut gratin.

When she was little, she was even willing to sacrifice precious pocket money for an expensive poke of chestnuts. It’s the biggest winter treat, smelling them roasting on trolleys at the welcoming exit of a Paris metro station – and helps to calm the effects of the howling winds at the top of the steps.

Montmartre chocolate pastry walk abbesses chestnuts

She nibbles at luxury candied chestnuts, marrons glacés, as if she was Charlie with a golden-ticketed chocolate bar. She also craves the sweetened candied chestnut & vanilla spread that is so common in France – by the legendary Clément Faugier. If you don’t know it, it’s a French staple that families have in store normally, as it’s dolloped on fromage blanc and thinly spread on crêpes.

Candied Chestnuts in France (marrons glacés)

Candied chestnuts are a total gourmet speciality in France and are traditionally enjoyed over the festive season. They’re primarily prepared in the Ardèche region but honestly (in my humble opinion) the best candied chestnuts are in Corsica – and I’m not just saying that because my husband is Corsican! The Corsicans put chestnut flour and chestnuts in so many of their recipes.

A Perfect Recipe To Use Egg Yolks for Macaron Lovers Who Need Egg Whites!

When you’re as mad about macarons as I am (and I know I’m not alone on this one – come on, own up), you need to use up plenty of egg yolks while you’re ageing your whites for 2-3 days before making macarons.

So, Ice cream is one of my favourite egg yolk recipes (this link is to my yolk database!), as it uses up 8 yolks in this easy, classic recipe.

Do I need an Ice Cream Machine? What If I don’t Have One?

Ideally, it’s best to have an ice cream machine. I don’t have one, but instead use the ice cream attachment for my stand mixer that still does the job well.

If you don’t have an ice cream machine or mixer sorbet/ice cream attachment, then take the cream out of the freezer every 30 minutes (about 5 times) and mix up the partially frozen mixture well.

Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream

Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW

Makes 1 litre

8 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
2 small 100g tins of sweetened chestnut & vanilla purée (Clement Faugier)
400ml whole milk
200ml whipping cream
1 vanilla pod
pinch of caramel powdered colouring (optional)
a handful of broken marrons glacés (or whole ones if you’re feeling posh)

1. Cream together the egg yolks, sugar and sweet chestnut purée in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

2. Heat the milk and cream in a heavy-based pan with the vanilla pod, cut in two lengthways. Add the powdered colouring, if using. Bring to the boil, and turn off the heat for the vanilla to infuse in the creamy milk for 5-10 minutes. Scrape out the seeds from the pod and add to the cream.

3. Pour the creamy milk onto the egg mixture whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the pan on a medium heat, whisking constantly until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the vanilla pod and set the mixture aside to cool.

4. Once cool, place in the fridge for 1-2 hours before pouring into an ice cream maker to churn then freeze for a couple of hours minimum.

Serve with marrons glacés and macarons.

Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream Macarons Pin

Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
4 mins
Chilling & Freezing
4 hrs
Total Time
24 mins
 

The French love their chestnuts so churn a sweetened chestnut vanilla ice cream to chill over the festive season - or any time of year

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: chestnut paste, Clement Faugier, sweetened chestnut purée,
Servings: 12
Calories: 192 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100 g (3.5oz) caster sugar
  • 2 (7oz) small 100g tins of sweetened chestnut purée
  • 400 ml (14 floz) whole milk
  • 200 ml (7 floz) whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • pinch of caramel powdered colouring optional
  • a handful of broken marrons glacés or whole ones if you're feeling posh
Instructions
  1. Cream together the egg yolks, sugar and sweetened chestnut vanilla purée in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

  2. Heat the milk and cream in a heavy-based pan with the vanilla pod, cut in two lengthways. Add the powdered colouring, if using. Bring to the boil, and turn off the heat for the vanilla to infuse in the creamy milk for 5-10 minutes. Scrape out the seeds from the pod and add to the cream.

  3. Pour the creamy milk onto the egg mixture whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the pan on a medium heat, whisking constantly until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the vanilla pod and set the mixture aside to cool.
  4. Once cool, place in the fridge for 1-2 hours before pouring into an ice cream maker to churn. Then follow ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions. Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.

Recipe Notes

Serve with marrons glacés (candied chestnuts), gavottes, crispy French tuiles or macarons (recipes in both Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris).

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

French Onion Tarte Tatin with Cheese

This French Onion Tarte Tatin is one of my favourite quick and easy savoury dishes. It’s so handy to make using basic ingredients I like to keep in stock in the fridge and pantry. This recipe is healthy too – as onions are naturally sweet, there’s no need to add any sugar or honey; the onions caramelise themselves!

French Onion Tarte Tatin

With some chèvre goat’s cheese hidden under the onions before hitting the crispy puff pastry, the flavours are divine – especially with a touch of fresh rosemary and toasted walnuts sprinkled on top, almost as an afterthought. I took inspiration for the accompanying flavours in this recipe from the classic French salade de chèvre chaud. For those of you not keen on goat’s cheese, however, you can replace the cheese with Comté, Emmental or your own favourite cheese – or omit the cheese entirely.

Serve with a salad of lamb’s lettuce with extra toasted walnuts and for those not vegetarian, go the full monty with added bacon bits (lardons).

A version of this recipe was first published on le blog on 10 December 2013, and as a guest at Ann Mah’s  Tuesday Dinner series. The text is now updated with a printable recipe card and includes an accompanying VIDEO.

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French onion tarte tatin

Story of the Tarte Tatin

According to my old 1984 edition of Larousse Gastronomique, the Tarte Tatin dessert of caramelised apples (see my recipe here) was first served in Paris at Maxim’s giving a bow to its creators, the famous Tatin sisters.

Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin came up with this irresistible dessert quite by accident at the end of the 19th century while running their hotel/restaurant in the French Sologne region, south of Paris.  The story goes that, as the apples were caramelising in sugar and butter in the oven for their tarte solognote, they either realised they’d forgotten the pastry or that they’d burned the apples, so they simply plopped the pastry on top, baked then flipped the tart upside down, et voilà. From then on, it was served as their speciality until they retired in 1906, although they never called it a Tarte Tatin until Maxim’s took it on by storm in Paris on their dessert menu.

Onion Tarte Tatin – No Sugar!

Onions are naturally sweet: they contain about 5% sugar, which is good news for making an onion tarte tatin.  So there’s no need for making any caramel or adding any sugar. Cooking the onions slowly first means they caramelise themselves without the sugar.

If you do have a sweet tooth, however, you could add a touch of balsamic vinegar to the onions, to add a bit of acidity and extra rich colour.

Perfect Vegetarian Starter for Entertaining

It’s a handy recipe for all seasons and, depending on who’s sitting at the table, it can be dressed either up or down for something simple to oh-là-là effective as a starter at dinner.

It’s also vegetarian (it’s not vegan), happy food served with a side salad.

One large onion tarte tatin serves 6-8 slices. Cook it in advance for no longer than 25 minutes until light golden, upturn on to a serving plate that can transfer to the oven then leave to cool. Just re-heat in the oven for 10 minutes and it’s an easy, stress-free dish that’s ready to serve to your guests.

Mini French Onion Tarte Tatin

Onion Tartlet Tatins

If you’d like to be more chic, make individual onion tartlet tatins using non-stick tartlet moulds (this recipe makes 6 tartlets). Watch my VIDEO here to see just how quick and easy they are to make, just like the large onion tarte tatin.

I made them with regular onions – the best of French’s ‘Roscoff’ onions with some comté cheese.

Chevre Red Onions

Onion Tarte Tatin with Cheese – What’s Best?

French Onion Tarte Tatin with Goat’s Cheese

Like a French goat’s cheese salad or this goat’s cheese and walnut pasta sauce, don’t skimp on using good quality goat cheese. I like to use a couple of Crottins de Chavignol made with raw goat’s milk (lait cru). Not creamy fresh and not too mouldy mature, either – just somewhere in between which is perfect for cooking and full of flavour.

Can’t find Crottin de Chavignol? No worries – use a good quality farm goat’s cheese and about 6 thick slices in total for a whole onion tarte tatin. It depends on your taste.

French Onion Tatin Tartlets

Comté or Emmental Cheese for Onion Tarte Tatin

Otherwise, replace the goat’s cheese with a few slices of comté cheese (as I use in the tartlet tatins on the video) o

Not keen on cheese at all? Omit the cheese entirely and the tatin will be just as good – just don’t forget the walnuts!

Wine pairing: serve with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc and the sensation with the goat’s cheese brings out honey flavours. Ideally, serve a wine from the Loire Valley since it’s The French region for goats cheeses (Sancerre, Quincy, Menetou-Salon, Pouilly, Reuilly…)

French Onion Tarte Tatin – without Cheese

Made without the cheese, I love this on its own just as much. However, topped with a few slices of Stornoway black pudding it gives it a stunning touch of the Scottish alliance on a French plate!

French Onion Tarte Tatin

 

5 from 1 vote
French Onion Tarte Tatin with Goat's Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

A crispy and soft upside down tart of caramelised onions without any added sugar or honey with rosemary or thyme, toasted walnuts and a hidden layer of melted goat's cheese. Ready-made puff pastry makes this onion tarte tatin even easier to prepare along with staple pantry and fridge items.

Course: Appetizer, Light Lunch, Main Course, Starter
Cuisine: French
Keyword: onion tarte tatin, savoury tarte tatin
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 284 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 4 large onions red or yellow
  • 1 packet (230g) ready-rolled puff pastry, all butter (or defrosted puff pastry, rolled into a circle)
  • 25g (1oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried Herbes de Provence)
  • handful walnuts
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 100g (4oz) goat's cheese or comté (optional)
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut the onions into thin slices. Meanwhile, over a medium-low heat, melt the butter with some olive oil in a non-stick frying pan (ideally that can be transferred to the oven otherwise use a 23cm non-stick cake pan to bake the tatin). Add the onions to the pan and leave to soften and cook for about 15 minutes, turning a few times to coat the onions in the butter and oil.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.

  3. Add chopped fresh herbs (or a teaspoon of dried Herbes de Provence) and season the onions. Transfer to a cake pan, if using. Slice the goat cheese (3 slices per person) and place them on top of the packed caramelised onions.

  4. Top with the larger disk of puff pastry, tucking it in around the sides of the pan. Prick the pastry (to stop the puff from rising in the oven) then transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.

  5. Remove from the oven. Place a serving plate larger than the pan over the top. Carefully turn the tatin upside down on to the plate.

Recipe Notes

See accompanying video demonstration here.

Serving Suggestions:

A side-salad of lamb's lettuce (mâche) tossed in olive or walnut oil, white balsamic vinegar and extra toasted walnuts.

Wine pairing with onions:

With goat's cheese: serve with a chilled white Sauvignon Blanc and the sensation with the goat's cheese brings out honey flavours. Ideally, serve a wine from the Loire Valley since it's The French region for goats cheeses (Sancerre, Quincy, Menetou-Salon, Pouilly, Reuilly...). A Sancerre red is also a good match.
Otherwise with onions: serve with a fruity Chenin Blanc (e.g. Vouvray, Savennières) or rosé.

.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com