Eating The Tour De France Stage 19: Bourgain Jallieu – Aubenas. Marron Glace Sundae
This years tour is now winding up and leaving the high Alps it looks like a Spaniard will take the crown leaving Lance Armstrong to mull over his decision to ride again. The have got most of the climbing out of the way and todays stage sees them cycling into one of Frances most rural and pretty areas, L' Ardeche.
To the west of the Rhone Valley the Ardeche is a small mountainous region famed for its fertile, soil, hippies, fruit and Marron (or chestnuts to me and you). But im not talking about the bitter conckers we get back here in the UK, no in The Ardeche it is all about sweet chestnuts, that thrive in the climate and taste sensational.
Used in both sweet and savory dishes, chestnut trees carpet the hillsides in this beautiful corner of France and after spending plenty of time in the Ardeche myself I cant get enough of these local beauties. They are quite easy to find here in the UK in your smarter grocer and Marron Glace are the true delicacy if you can get them (although a tube of marron paste is sweet, nutty and fit for the gods!) Here is one of my favorite Ardeche recipes.
- one jar of marron glace in syrup
- good vanilla ice-cream
- whipping cream
- 1/4 cup of toasted almond, smashed
1. Whip your cream until it is stiff and peaked
2. Take 2/3s of your marron in a deep mixing bowl and with a fork into a smooth past
3. Take 4 large wine glasses and smear the inside of each glass with the paste.
4. Now scoop in two balls of ice-cream.
5. Add a healthy dollop of whipped cream above the ice cream and decorate each glass by topping it off with the remaining marron and syrup.