Cassolette de Cerises Tièdes, Glace Amande

This recipe is a complicated one to assemble. The cherries are stoned and in place of the stalk is a small ‘cigarette’ roll of crisp biscuit. It is a very good pudding but have someone give you a hand at the end, sticking the rolls in the cherries. Alternatively, leave the biscuits unrolled and serve them on a plate to accompany the cherries and ice cream. It is based on a dish served at the Hotel du Palais in Biarritz in the early summer.

Ingredients

Almond Ice Cream

  • ½ pt / 280 ml milk
  • ½ pt / 280 ml single cream
  • 4 oz / 110 g almond paste, softened
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3 oz / 85 g caster sugar
  • ½ oz / 15 g glucose (optional)

Biscuits

  • generous 4 oz / 125 g unsalted butter, softened
  • oz / 185 g icing sugar
  • generous 4 oz / 125 g plain flour, sifted
  • 5–6 egg whites
  • pure vanilla essence

Cherries

  • 7 fl oz / 200 ml water
  • 7 oz / 200 g sugar
  • 7 oz / 200 g unsalted butter
  • 2 lb / 900 g stoned cherries
  • 1–2 tbsp kirsch

Method

Heat the milk, cream and almond paste in a saucepan. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, sugar and glucose, if using. When warm, add a quarter of the cream mixture to the egg mixture, and thoroughly incorporate. When the cream mixture boils, pour it over the egg mixture, beating continuously.

Sieve the mixture into a clean saucepan, and cook gently until it will coat the back of a wooden spoon. Cool, then freeze in an ice-cream maker or in a box in the freezer. An ice-cream maker will turn the mixture and make it smooth. You will need to stir the mixture by hand or in a food processor during the freezing process for a really smooth ice cream, if you freeze the mixture in a container.

To make the biscuits, lightly cream together the butter and sugar, and then add the rest of the ingredients, mixing to a paste. Rest the mixture in the refrigerator for 15–20 minutes. Spread the mixture as thin as possible in in / 4 cm circles on a buttered baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C / 350 ° F / Mark 4 for 8–10 minutes. As soon as you remove the sheet from the oven, roll up each small biscuit while still warm.

For the cherries, put the water, sugar and butter in a clean, non-stick frying pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, and then cook the mixture until syrupy. Add the cherries and poach for 5 minutes, stirring in the kirsch right at the end. Pour the cherry syrup into shallow soup plates or dishes together with a portion of cherries. Place a biscuit ‘cigarette’ or roll in each cherry cavity, and serve with a scoop of almond ice cream on top.

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