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Warm Berry Crumbles And Fromage Blanc Ice Cream

Berry Crumble-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
I meant to post this yesterday but I found out that home improvements seriously interferes with blogging. Noting like holding crown molding with one hand and typing with the other, right?!! We decided to tackle the little things we skipped when we built our house (and I mean "we" as owner/builder), exhausted after 15 months spent on a dream and ready to relax on the sofa with a book and a cup of tea. In that spirit, it looks like my friend Inne from Vanille & Chocolat might be coming to the end of her DIY home improvements and share with us this lovely Lemon And Lavender Cake. I am mentioning this, because in the world of food blogging, two things that will never cease to amaze me in the awesome sense of community and incredible friendships that we create. We take notice when somebody does not update for a while, we inquire about certain recipes and enthusiasm and support are kings! Having this cookbook giveaway this past weekend was a way for me to pass on the goodwill and tell you how much I appreciate your support and readership. two things that push me to improve in all aspects of life.
With this said…I am happy to announce the winner of the Nestle dessert cookbook: Congratulations to Kelli from Life In General, in Texas! Send me your mailing address at marinette1 @ comcast . net and the book will be on your way! Thanks to all that participated, it was really great to read about all your favorite cookbooks and I have since added a few to my wish list.

This weekend was what I consider typical April weather, well the kind of days I grew up with, and that makes me very nostalgic about home and my family. Sunny and windy, warm and inviting, with fresh and fragrant smells of blooming trees. The kind of weekend that makes you want to kiss the familiar comfort of winter goodbye and embrace the warmer days ahead. When C. called to get together as we do on most Saturdays (oyster roasts, bbqs, etc…) to ask what I was bringing for dessert, I said "I have got ice cream churning, still figuring out the rest"…which was a complete lie but I don’t like telling her what I am bringing ahead of time, spoils the fun of having dessert, don’t you think?

This Warm Berry Crumble With Fromage Blanc Ice Cream was completely in sync with the day itself and inspired by one of my favorite cookbooks, the "Larrousse Des Desserts" by Pierre Herme (I know, I know…him again). No oven was turned on and yet it sent us back to the few colder days we had: the berries are cooked on the stove with a splash of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and a dash of cracked black pepper, the crumble part is just crushed ginger snap cookies (crumbled graham cracker sheets work great too). I used a mix of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, basically whatever I had in the refrigerator that day that needed to get used pronto. Next time I might add a bit of rhubarb to it, it is so beautiful this time of year and I go through pounds of it like mad in April and May.

The promise of warmer days called for some ice cream to top the crumble with, and I went for one of my new favorites, fromage blanc ice cream. One of the things I miss the most about home is having "fromage blanc" at the end of a meal with a fruit (typical dessert in my family) or in the morning with some granola on top. You can find it at nicely stocked health food stores, or even online, but it can cost an arm and leg (money I’d rather save for the increasing price of flour lately). Thus, I started making my own at home following this recipe, and keep it well covered in the refrigerator. In a pinch, I found that Greek Yogurt works great for the ice cream, both have similar texture and taste, and I realise that not everybody is considering buying a cow and a goat like I am sometimes so I could have all my favorite dairy product readily available.

Beryy Crumbles-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 I already talked about how cancer affected my life by taking away family members and friends, but one thing occured to me while I was making these: they are packed of wonderful nutrients and essentials vitamins and minerals. Berries are natural superfoods, full of radical fighting agents and the yogurt or fromage blanc is packed with digestive building bacteria, all crucial for healthy living. I hope that Chris from Mele Cotte will agree and include these in her Cooking To Combat Cancer Event.

Warm Berry Crumble With Fromage Blanc Ice Cream:
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

For the ice cream:
400 ml water
240 gr. sugar (about 1 cup)
zest and juice of one lemon
350gr. fromage blanc (or use store bought or Greek yogurt)

In a large and heavy saucepan, bring the water to a boil with the sugar, zest and juice of the lemon, until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool completely. Add the fromage blanc and and whisk until well blended (it is ok if it appears to separate, it will come together in the ice cream process). If you have an ice cream maker, freeze and process the mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you do not ave an ice cream maker: freeze the mixture for a couple of hours, take it out and give it a good whip either with a stand mixer or a hand held blender, repeat the process a couple of times, every two hours.

For the crumbles:
1 – 2 cups coarsely crushed ginger snap cookies or graham crackers (amount will vary according to the size of your dishes and how "crumbly" you want to get versus the amount of fruit)
2 cups mixed red berries
1 Tb olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tb white balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the berries and cook just until they start to soften. Remove from the stove and add the vinegar and black pepper.
Sprinkle some cookie crumbs at the bottom of your glasses or dishes, divide the berries evenly on top, add some of the juices too. Top with some more crumbs of desired and a scoop of ice cream.

Berry Crumbles-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
What next? I am off to check out my two adoptee bloggers, because I have been a bad godmother and need to see what delicious goodies they have made lately!

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Cannelle Et Vanille April 15, 2008 um 4:11 pm

I have been dreaming of berry crumble too. Warm with ice cream on top… hmm… the simple things in life that make us happy! that must have tasted amazing after putting up crown molding!

Babeth April 15, 2008 um 4:44 pm

Beautiful recipe! berries crumble with fromage blanc ice-cream: it’s better than voodoo to call for Spring!

LizNoVeggieGirl April 15, 2008 um 5:00 pm

Oh my goodness, the combination of the warm berries with cold ice cream is classic, and oh-so-delicious. LOVE your Warm Berry Crumble With Fromage Blanc Ice Cream dessert!! And hey, Pierre Herme’s book is great, so why not keep referencing it? :0)

Best of luck with all of your home improvement projects!! And yes, the blogging world IS filled with and "awesome sense of community and incredible friendships." You said it best, Helen!

LyB April 15, 2008 um 5:06 pm

Every time I see one of your photos, the colors just amaze me! I would never have thought of fromage blanc ice cream but it sure sounds delicious over that crumble!

Finla April 15, 2008 um 5:08 pm

Beautiful recipe. I have never had ice cream with formageblanc and living here in Belgium it is widley available.
It is funny i have seen in some recipies things ican’t get here but then aailable in US then i am like why is it we are not getting this ingridient here 🙂
I too think we make so much good friend thrugh blogging.

Anonymous April 15, 2008 um 5:23 pm

What a lovely simple dessert. I have been thinking about making ice cream but don’t have a maker, glad for the instructions for making without. I too am at the almost end of a total renovation. We are getting to the fun part a new kitchen!! Glad when the dust is gone.

Lori April 15, 2008 um 5:24 pm

Beautiful pictures. I love all the glasses, dishes, and props you use. You are truly and artist. You keep giving me new food ideas to try.

Rachel@fairycakeheaven April 15, 2008 um 6:07 pm

Crumble is one of my absolute favourite desserts ever, love the idea of the ice-cream made from fromage frais aswell, another one for!!!

Michelle H April 15, 2008 um 6:33 pm

This looks so elegant and simple. I want to try the ice cream recipe, it looks really simple. :o)

PheMom April 15, 2008 um 6:46 pm

As always so beautiful and yummy! Wow!

Anonymous April 15, 2008 um 7:08 pm

Just beautiful! I love the idea of adding a little balsamic vinegar in with the berries — I’m definitely going to try that next time.

Vanillaorchid April 15, 2008 um 7:22 pm

They are fabulous, I’m sure they are absolutely tasty especially with balsamic vinegar inside. I love the taste and profume of balsamic vinegar.

The weather here is not like spring..seems to be in autumn!!

Lucky you for having a nice weather 🙂

Anonymous April 15, 2008 um 7:30 pm

Lovely, as usual!

Sylvie April 15, 2008 um 8:06 pm

What a wonderful treat. Lovely photos, too. I’d give anything for that light (as well as a serving of your berry crumble of course), it’s still really gloomy here in the UK considering we’re half way through April.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a lovely comment.

Peabody April 15, 2008 um 8:28 pm

Well, we have no warm breezes…I think I am sitting at 42 with rain. 🙂 But I am loving that so it is okay.
I am especially drooling over your ice cream though!

Anonymous April 15, 2008 um 8:43 pm

Sounds simple and delicious. I love how you snuck in a bit of pepper into this desert. One of my favourite restaurants in the Napa Valley used have a strawberries in a black pepper cabernet sauce over ice cream that was fantastic.

Anonymous April 15, 2008 um 8:43 pm

Sounds simple and delicious. I love how you snuck in a bit of pepper into this desert. One of my favourite restaurants in the Napa Valley used have a strawberries in a black pepper cabernet sauce over ice cream that was fantastic.

Anonymous April 15, 2008 um 9:45 pm

I love crumble anything… could eat the crumble by itself, but THIS looks amazing! Lovely photos, as always!

creampuff April 15, 2008 um 10:26 pm

I actually pictured you holding the crown molding and blogging … too funny!

Love those little crumbles!

That Girl April 15, 2008 um 10:44 pm

I understand French enough to know that Fromage Blanc is "white cheese" which sounds generic enough to completely lack a description 😉 Is it like a cottage cheese?

Cookie baker Lynn April 15, 2008 um 11:22 pm

Mmm, that looks beautiful and delicious. Warm berries and ice cream sounds so comforting. I love the presentation in the glasses, too.

Mandy April 16, 2008 um 12:01 am

my shipment of ice cream maker and weighing scale has just arrived. I can’t wait to try this ice cream and of course, your macarons recipes! I like the tone on this background!

Susan @ SGCC April 16, 2008 um 1:34 am

This looks just wonderful! I haven’t ever used fromage blanc, but I make frozen yogurt with Greek yogurt all the time. I love it!

Aimée April 16, 2008 um 1:50 am

I love the warm colors in these photos, Helen.
As for home renovations, we know what that’s all about. Never again!

RecipeGirl April 16, 2008 um 3:10 am

Good luck with the renovations… I don’t think our marriage would hold up if we had to do any more of those LOL!

This is a perfect dessert for our sort of weather right now… definitely spring with a sprinkle of summer weather too.

Manggy April 16, 2008 um 4:05 am

Ha! I am like that with my friends too. They keep badgering me about what my dessert will be like… I always yell, "IT’S A SURPRISE!!!" (or, clue: it’s sweet)

Thanks for clearing up the fromage blanc substitution… I was about to think cream cheese (er.. fromage fondu? fromage a la creme?) would suffice!

I didn’t know Dana was your adopted blogger! I check out her blog all the time.

Anonymous April 16, 2008 um 4:10 am

this ice cream sounds intriguing. do you think i could mix some fruit curd in for flavor without sacrifing too much texture? i’m on a mango curd kick lately, and i bet that would be tasty.

btw, love the header.

Sara April 16, 2008 um 4:24 am

That ice cream is calling to me. I had something like that at a fancy dinner about 4 years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it.

Karolina Beaudet April 16, 2008 um 4:52 am

Beautiful picture and great recipe. I love the idea of serving the ice cream with warm berries and crumbles!!!

jenniferhoiyin April 16, 2008 um 5:34 am

Looks delicious! Do you take your own photos? Can’t wait to try it, I especially love the coloring and berries.

Anonymous April 16, 2008 um 7:12 am

Lovely presentation, looks delicious!

Anonymous April 16, 2008 um 7:16 am

This is a perfect association!! Thanks for your tips on fromage blanc and yogourt….no cow is planned to enter my garden 😉

Anonymous April 16, 2008 um 8:19 am

what an amazing combo. great food shot as well. makes me wanna be there to eat it!

grace April 16, 2008 um 8:57 am

i personally think it should be illegal to serve fruit cobbler, pie, crumble, galette, (the list goes on), or brown betty without ice cream. it just seems wrong. 🙂

Botacook April 16, 2008 um 11:13 am

Dis donc en ce moment tu nous régales de douceurs toutes plus exquises les unes que les autres! C’est sûr, prochainement, je te piquerai des recettes! Ton dessert me tente beaucoup car j’adore les fruits rouges, et cette petite glace au fromage blanc doit les accompagner à merveille!
J’entends beaucoup parler de granola en ce moment, il faut absolument que j’en trouve quelque part!

Marianna April 16, 2008 um 11:27 am

The glasses you used are beautiful, such a nice presentation! And I love fromage blanc in the first place, as an icecream it must be fab!

Nina Timm April 16, 2008 um 12:01 pm

What a lovely dessert, not your normal heavy syruppy pud…

Anonymous April 16, 2008 um 12:01 pm

Ah, a warm berry crumble with ice cream melting on top sounds so good and comforting right now. Even as the days get hotter, I still think that a dessert like this is just perfect to unwind with!

Gloria Baker April 16, 2008 um 12:59 pm

Sounds delicious and is nice how ever!!! Gloria

Anonymous April 16, 2008 um 2:06 pm

Beautiful, beautiful photos!

Eileen (passions to pastry)@

Patricia Scarpin April 16, 2008 um 2:34 pm

Congrats to Kelli for the book!

Helen, you always have the most beautiful containers/vessels! These are amazing!

And I agree with you about the food blogging friendship. I’ve "met" so many wonderful, generous people (of course, you’re included) and that makes me really happy.

Rachael Hutchings April 16, 2008 um 2:57 pm

Mmmmm, fromage blanc is one of the many things I fell in love with while living in France. I remember going into serious withdrawals when I moved back to the US.

Mari April 16, 2008 um 3:53 pm

Warm berry crumble with creamy ice cream is one of my favorite desserts after ice cream and cake. This looks luscious, and perfect for the cold Spring we’re having here in the NL.

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Anonymous April 16, 2008 um 8:41 pm

Aside from that dessert just sounding good, you always have the most elegant way to present your creations…those glasses are beautiful!

Mike of Mike's Table April 16, 2008 um 9:25 pm

I really like how you plated this–it looks mouth watering!

Rozan April 17, 2008 um 12:39 pm

That looks, and sounds just delicious! I love all the photo’s (never mind the food and receipe’s) you post of your food.

thepassionatecook April 17, 2008 um 12:57 pm

not only are your pictures amazing, I could just lick the screen every time i read your recipes! i have started making crumbles recently, but it never occurred to me to have icecram with it… what a treat!

Half Baked April 17, 2008 um 2:56 pm

Lovely recipe and photo’s! I would love a bite of that crumble right now:)

Mama Mia April 17, 2008 um 3:13 pm

I absolutley love your food! to die for!!!!

Mama Mia April 17, 2008 um 3:13 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.

Jenny April 18, 2008 um 12:50 am

Pretty, pretty.
I must ask – where is all this rhubarb people keep mentioning growing? My rhubarb plant is just starting to peek out of the ground and won’t be ready for picking for quite awhile!

Inne April 18, 2008 um 10:40 am

Thanks for the shout-out Helen! Merci beaucoup, it really made my day! I was wondering where those random comments on my blog came from. ..

I reckon we’ve got a good few months to go renovating, but at least we managed to get a few rooms finished, so we can retreat there and pretend the building site downstairs doesn’t exist.

The crumble looks absolutely delicious and I’m jealous of your 'typical April' weather there. Here it’s grey, windy and freezing cold!

MyKitchenInHalfCups April 18, 2008 um 12:33 pm

Crown molding in one hand, keyboard in the other – it must be Super Woman Helen!
The crumbles (I’d have to go with the ginger snaps) and the fromage blanc . . . those look like little snow balls! Beautiful. And I do like the rhubarb idea too.

Chris April 19, 2008 um 2:09 am

Oh Helen, my friend – no hope needed here! This will go in the round up without a doubt! Thanks for participating and being so supportive (in multiple ways).

Anonymous April 20, 2008 um 12:13 pm

oh tartlette, besides the delicious taste i can only IMAGINE — the presentation for these is just stunning!!

Jaime April 27, 2008 um 6:59 pm

beautiful presentation!

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