Roasted Apple with Dried Fruits, Calisson Ice Cream Recipe

Pomme Rôtie aux Fruits Secs, Quenelle de Glace au Calisson

[Roasted Apple with Dried Fruits, Calisson Ice Cream]

My mother and I wanted to end our Christmas eve dinner with a dessert simple to prepare yet festive, and satisfying yet light – more or less. This is what we came up with!

The store Picard Surgelés sells excellent ice-cream created by François Théron. They come in a variety of flavors, all of which quite unusual and incredibly tempting, like marron glacé (chestnut ice-cream with candied chestnut pieces), mendiant (vanilla ice-cream with dried fruits and nuts), or calisson (almond ice-cream with bits of calisson).

A calisson is an almond shaped specialty from Aix-en-Provence (South of France), made with pâte d’amande (almond paste) and crystallized melons, with a layer of “feuille d’hostie” (the thin wafer the catholic host is made of) underneath, and a crispy sugar coating on top. In my family, we are all big fans of pâte d’amande in general, calissons in particular, and my parents happened to have a box of fresh calissons they had recently received as a gift.

Pomme Rôtie aux Fruits Secs, Quenelle de Glace au Calisson

– 6 small sweet apples, of a variety that will hold their shape when baked
– 6 small spoonfuls of cassonade (brown sugar)
– 6 slivers of butter
– a handful of raisins
– a handful of almonds, chopped
– a small container of calisson ice-cream
– 6 calissons

(Serves 4.)

Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F).

Wash and dry the apples. Core them, and place them in a gratin dish with a few tablespoons of water. Cut neat little hats off their tops, put a sliver of butter underneath each hat, sprinkle on a little cassonade, chopped almonds and raisins, and put the hat back into place.

Put the apples in the oven to bake for about 40 minutes, until softened and caramelized. Turn off the oven and leave them in for about 20 minutes to rest and cool down a little. Keep warm or reheat in the oven before serving.

Form oval ice-cream scoops (quenelles) with two large spoons, and place them on each plate, alongside a warm apple, balancing a calisson on the ice-cream. Drizzle some of the apples’ caramel on and around the apples. Reserve the two remaining apples in the oven to whip out for a bonus service.

A delicious combination of warm apple, sweet caramel and fresh ice-cream. I am more and more into serving desserts with a little handheld accessory to nibble on, and here the scrumptious little calisson was a real treat. We all went for seconds, to stock up on energy before we tackled the gift giving session!

  • http://www.gastroblog.com Jackie D

    This sounds so unusual and lovely! I will have to try some calissons when I’m next in France!

    Very pretty, too, as all your dishes seem to be! :)

  • http://www.elise.com/recipes/ Elise

    Hi Clotilde,
    This looks delicious. Question, do you only put the butter, brown sugar, raisin, and almond under the “hat” or do you put it in the whole where the core was as well?
    Elise

  • http://www.elise.com/recipes/ elise

    that would be “hole” not “whole”

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Jackie – Thank you! I’m sure you would love calissons too…

    Elise – I sprinkled the goodies under the hat, trying to avoid the hole, otherwise they fall in the dish when you lift the apples. But little bits are likely to fall in anyway, however careful you are, and then you can just scoop them up with the caramel… This is really a simple and forgiving dessert, let me know if you try it!

  • Anne_sf

    In San Francisco, there is a wholesaler called Made in France, who opens occasionally to the public. I saw these callison there, but no translation on the package, so now I know. They were very expensive.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Anne – They’re not a cheap product here either, especially if you get the quality ones, but they’re worth every penny!

  • http://www.makunas.com/aliveone Jenny

    When we were in Aix this summer there were Calissons all over the place, but since I’m not a fan of almond or melon flavoring (though I like both almonds and melons…go figure), I didn’t try them. This dessert definitely makes me regret that choice. Next time, definitely.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Jenny – Oh yes, in Aix, you were bound to be burried in Calissons! But I was very surprised when I learned that there was melon in them. It certainly accounts for the subtlety of the flavor (not just plain almond paste) but you really can’t taste it as such. Yup, next time, definitely!

  • M. Stewart

    You will find the traditional calisson recipe in the classic book by MFK Fisher “Map of Another Town” about Aix en Provence.
    Here is one I found today which looks very close. Sorry, if I go back to check the URL I may not get back to this page. I think it came through BBC UK.

    Ingredients
    50g/2oz crystallised melon, diced
    25g/1oz candied orange peel, diced
    3 tbsp Amandine liqueur
    3 tbsp orange flower water
    2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
    120g/4oz caster sugar
    75g/3oz ground almonds
    300ml/10fl oz double cream
    50g/2oz caster sugar
    icing sugar for dusting

    Method
    1. Soak the melon and orange dice in the liqueur and orange flower water for as long as possible.
    2. Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until pale, thick and creamy. Beat in the ground almonds.
    3. Whisk the cream to soft peaks, then fold into the egg mixture. Fold in the soaked fruit.
    4. Line eight petal shaped moulds with plastic film and place on a baking tray. Spoon the mixture into the moulds and smooth the tops. Place in the freezer until firm.
    5. Whisk the egg white until stiff, add 1 tsp of the caster sugar and whisk again. Fold in the remaining sugar.
    6. Spoon or pipe on to baking parchment in the shape of the moulds. Place in a cool oven until crisp, about 1½ hours.
    7. To serve, place two calissons on each plate, top each with a meringue. Dust with icing sugar and serve with a fruit compote of your choice.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    M. Stewart – Thanks a lot for the recipe, I’d love to make my own Calissons one of these days!

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