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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

 

Chestnuts! From pancakes & ice-cream to macarons…

This weekend we took a stroll along the Seine en famille.  It was still pretty chilly but we needed a walk, some quality time together and a wee dose of Paris.  One of the typical scenes in this cold weather is the sellers of roasted chestnuts by the side of the road and at the exits of some popular metro stations.

Roasted Chestnuts Paris

Selling roasted chestnuts in Paris

As the glacial wind threatens to whisk any colour out of your cheeks, the welcoming aromas of roasted chestnuts waft around the metro stairs as you surface to street level.  My girls were just so excited.  “Mummy, pleeeease can we have a poke of roasted chestnuts?  You’re such an angel, the best Mum in the world…“

Yeh, right.  At 5 euros a poke they needed to enjoy them 😉  Am I getting cynical or what?  In any case, it’s true that there’s no other creamy, rich taste than roasted chesnuts.  Full of flavour, they’re ideal for adding to the traditional poultry stuffings we have in the UK and US.

roasted chestnuts

What? 5 euros for a poke?

In France it’s not used as a stuffing as such but either served roasted with vegetables or as a purée alongside poultry.  It’s funny:  we live in Le Pecq, outside Paris, where Alexandre Dumas (Three Musketeers fame) built his extravagant Château de Monte Cristo.  His other passion – or Violon d’Ingres – was cooking and opulent entertaining. In the Château’s museum we see examples from his “Grande Dictionnaire de Cuisine” which mentions puréed chestnuts served with pork sausages.  We often forget, though, that chestnuts are just as good in desserts for that something un peu différent.

Clement Faugier

Here in France, we’re lucky that the chestnut comes in different forms for baking.  Clément Faugier from the Ardèche makes a wicked candied chestnut (marron glacé) and vanilla spread.  Typically, we use it for dolloping on fromage blanc to give it a sticky-toffee-creamy-nutty flavour, which is so handy when we don’t often have time to even THINK of making dessert, especially when hungry children are concerned… and it’s a healthy sweet, full of calcium.

chestnut puree and fromage blanc

Chestnut paste with fromage blanc

I often throw a 100g tin when making a typical 500ml batch of ice-cream (see p.125 of book for recipe).  I’m an ice-cream lover: not just because it’s often handy to have a quick gourmet dessert when needed, but it also uses up many egg yolks.  That way I’m a happy bunny with plenty of whites stocked up for making macarons. 😉

chestnut ice-cream

Homemade chestnut ice-cream

Who could resist a melting scoop of chestnut vanilla ice-cream on warm crêpes or pancakes?  We certainly have plenty of excuses to make them following US pancake week and in anticipation of next week’s Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday.  Who doesn’t like a good pancake now and again?  Here we serve Crêpes.  In Scotland we also have Scotch Pancakes.  As my husband is from Corsica, where chestnut flour is one of the basic elements in baking, I love using some chestnut flour we brought back from his mountain village last summer.

Corsican Chestnut Flour

Corsican Chestnut Flour

Corsican chestnut flour is pretty strong and so a little goes a long way.  As chestnuts are already quite powdery in nature, the flour is uniquely intense. Typically we use it to make a rustic Corsican Chestnut Cake (my mother-in-law serves it at breakfast but being Scottish I do prefer this at goûter time with a pot of tea.  Well, nobody’s perfect :-))  I do, however, love adding a little chestnut flour to  Scotch Pancakes for a New Alliance.  Here’s my recipe for Scotch  Corsican Pancakes.

You can just whip them up in next to no time and serve warm with plenty of honey (Scottish Heather Honey or Corsican honey, so no favouritism!) Or try drizzled with warmed Whisky marmalade: chestnut and bitter orange go so well together.  I’m not going to influence you but the Corsicans also have a wonderful Chestnut liqueur, so I love to add a tablespoon to pancakes, muffins, brownies, cannelés, macarons, or just in a glass on its own… Oh and there’s the Corsican beer, Pietra:  it’s brewed with chestnuts and has a unique smoky taste.

Scotch Pancakes

Scotch Pancakes Corsican Style

How could I finish off without even talking about a macaron or two? As you can understand, I’m not allowed to share my macaron recipes with you, as the rights belong to Waverley Books.  C’est normal. You’ll just have to buy the book! 😉  But I can leave you with a few photos now and again…  Here are some Sticky Toffee Pudding macarons (gluten free).

chestnut macarons

Chestnut macarons

Before you go, I’m thrilled to say that Manuela from Manu’s Menu has honoured Le Blog with an award.  Gosh, there are times when it feels you’re posting out to a vast empty void so this Lovely Blog Award makes it feel like I’m doing something ok.  Grazie Mille, Manu!  Thanks also for helping me out with the image (she’s not just clever in the kitchen but a whizz on the internet, too.)  Check out her step-by-step mouthwatering recipes on her blog and you’ll become master in the art of Italian cooking, prestissimo!

Bonne semaine!

Update (January 2012): Recipe now posted for Sweet Chestnut Ice Cream