Bombe Marie-Claire

Bombe Marie-Claire is an elegant dessert. Although this recipe uses canned apricots, you may substitute strawberries or blackcurrants. Bombe Marie-Claire may be accompanied by sponge fingers. To make this dessert, you require either a large frozen food storage compartment in your refrigerator or a home freezer.

3 pints vanilla ice-cream, slightly softened in the refrigerator

10 oz. canned, drained apricots

5 egg yolks

2 OTL. sugar

4 fl. oz. Marsala

2 tablespoons lemon juice

8 fl. oz. double cream , chilled

Prepare a chilled 3-pint bombe mould by spooning a little of the ice-cream into the base. Working quickly, so that the ice-cream does not thaw too much, spoon scoops of the ice-cream into the mould and, with the back of a metal spoon, pat the ice-cream firmly against the sides of the mould. Press a chilled glass bowl, 1-inch smaller than the mould, inside the mould, so that the ice-cream forms a solid wall between the bowl and the mould. With a knife, cut out more slices of icecream to fill up any gaps in the walls.

Place the mould, with the bowl, in the freezer, and chill for 1 hour or until the ice-cream is completely firm. Chill the remaining ice-cream in a separate bowl for later use.

While the ice-cream is freezing, prepare the apricot filling. Puree the apricots in an electric blender or, with the back of a wooden spoon, rub the apricots through a sieve placed over a bowl. Set aside.

Place the chilled cream in a medium-sized mixing bowl, chilled, and beat with a fork or wire whisk until the cream is stiff and stands in peaks. Set aside.

Place a glass mixing bowl in a larger mixing bowl filled with hot water. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together with a wire whisk for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the yolks are pale yellow in colour and form a ribbon trail on themselves when the whisk is lifted. Still beating, add the Marsala and lemon juice.

Lift the bowl out of the water, beat in the apricot puree and fold in the whipped cream with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour to chill.

Remove the bombe mould from the freezer. Lift out the glass bowl in the centre. If it sticks, pour a little hot water into the bowl and let it stand for 20 seconds. The bowl should now slide out easily.

Remove the chilled apricot mixture from the refrigerator and spoon it into the cavity in the centre of the bombe, filling it almost to the top. Place the mould in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or until the apricot filling is quite firm. Then remove the mould and the remaining icecream from the freezer and place a lid of ice-cream slices on top of the apricot mixture. Smooth with a knife.

Cover the mould carefully with alu-minium foil and freeze the bombe for 6 hours, or until it feels completely firm to the touch.

Fifteen minutes before serving, place a serving plate in the freezer to chill it thoroughly.

When you are ready to serve the bombe, unmould it by dipping the mould in hot water for about 30 seconds. Place the chilled plate upside-down on top of the mould. Pressing the plate down firmly on to the mould, turn the mould and plate over quickly. The bombc should slip out smoothly.

Serve at once.

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