No matter where your find them or what you call them—Fruits Givrés from the House of Haute Glacerie in Paris or Fruttini from Gelateria Matteo in Rome or Ice Cream in Frozen Orange Rinds from my kitchen in Baltimore—they’re snazzy, refreshing, and impressive little desserts.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a short piece of memoir about inviting Rose Perfect, an aging Broadway starlet from the George White Scandals to my apartment for dinner in the early 1970s. I was 20-something; she was 70-something. (It’s one of my most popular blog posts.)
I made a swell dinner for Rose that long-ago evening and after publishing the memory here on BrockelPress, I received several emails about the dessert I’d described. Ice cream in orange rinds can be super simple to make or a day-long process. My recipe takes the middle road—easy and not too time consuming.
For the simplest approach checkout this happy, ninety-second video. The finished product lacks the creamy center I prefer and the coating of frost that really creates the wow factor.
Before you try my take on the dessert, make certain you have room in your freezer for the filled oranges to chill for three or four hours. A powerful presentation requires the oranges be coated with a layer of white frost when they are brought to the table.
These days, the most difficult part of my approach to Fruits Givrés is finding beautiful oranges with stems and a leaf or two still attached. Living in Los Angles in the 70s, I’d jump in my MG and head to the Farmer’s Market. Large, perfect oranges picked the same day were plentiful—with their stems and leaves intact.
With oranges in hand, one for each guest plus a couple extra, I headed for the Thrifty Drug Store on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood for enough creamsicle ice cream to fill each orange plus a little more.
Thrifty, with its own dairy manufacturing plants, sold one of the finest ice cream products in southern California. Everything else I’d need I had at home and headed there.
Now, this part of the prep goes pretty quickly. Put the ice cream container on the counter so it can thaw a bit, wash the oranges, slice a bit of the bottom off of each one so they sit on a small plate without rolling over, and slice their tops off so you can get to the inside. Now—as if you’re scraping out the center of a pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern—remove the pulp from the oranges right down to the white pith. (Save the pulp you scrape out. (It’ll make a great screwdriver to congratulate yourself with once you’ve finished.) Put the orange shells in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Dump the softened ice cream in to a large mixing bowl, add one tablespoon of Grand Marnier, one tablespoon of heavy cream per serving, and stir lightly to combine. Put the mixture in the freezer until it begins to get solid—30 or 45 minutes.
Finally, moisten the bottom of each orange shell and place on a small dessert plate, fill to the rim with the ice cream mixture, and put the top—with the stem and leaf or two—back on and put in the freezer for three hours or more.
Squeeze some of the left-over pulp into a glass and make that screwdriver I mentioned. And relax.
After dinner and five minutes before serving, take the oranges (on their plates) out of the freezer. They will develop a coating of beautiful, white frost.
Serve, take in the complements, and say, “Oh, it was nothing.”
After the guests have left and dishes are all done, enjoy another screwdriver—and smile knowing you’ve had your vitamin C for the day.