Ice creams and sorbets

Ice cream in stock, sweet and savoury

Ice cream was very popular during the First Empire. In fact it was a real passion. Ice cream was sometimes called “neige” (snow) and flavoured with caramel, chocolate, vanilla, plums, peaches etc., but also with saffron, or even cloves. Certain restaurants offered more than 80 flavours.

The name “sorbets” was given to liqueurs destined to be transformed into frozen liquids. These liqueurs were made from fresh cream, to which sweet or bitter almonds were added, or pistachios, tea, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and so on. All this was mixed with quite a large amount of sugar.

In the early 19th century, the great divide between sweet and savoury had not yet opened up. Sweet was not relegated to the end of the meal, but held its place in the middle of the hors d'oeuvre and entremets courses.

Of course, there were savoury ice creams too: flavoured with fish, artichoke etc.

Period Recipe

Ice cream Ice-cream makers made of enamel or tin were used, and placed in buckets full of ice.  Take two "pintes"* of good fresh cream, put it on the stove and bring it to the boil. While waiting, take twelve eggs, whisk the egg whites in a preserving pan with a small wicker brush; when they are very firm, add eight egg yolks and a pound of very fine caster sugar. Stir well with the little brush, and gradually add the boiling cream. Whisk the mixture well, then put back on the heat and add a "demi-once"** of roughly crushed vanilla.Let the mixture bubble three or four times, then pass through a sieve, stirring a little to help it through. Once cooled, put it in the ice cream maker and then into a bucket full of ice. * A "pinte" is an old measure corresponding (in Paris) to 0.93 litre.** An "once" is an old measure corresponding (in Paris) to 30 g. La cuisinière de la campagne et de ville, Paris, 1818  Lemon sorbetTake one and a half pounds of sugar and melt it in a "pinte"* of good clear water, then take nine lemons. Wipe them and cut in half crossways; squeeze them out hard to get the juice: plunge them into the sugared water and squeeze them in every direction to extract all the juice and essential oil in the rind. Mix the sugared water and lemon juice, and then sieve through a very finely woven horsehair sieve. Put this liqueur into the ice-cream maker and freeze it. * A "pinte" is an old measure corresponding (in Paris) to 0.93 litre. La cuisinière de la campagne et de ville, Paris, 1818

Bon appetit


Type of Recipe