The avid reader of this blog will be aware how much I appreciate easy recipes, and my attention was recently drawn to a very simple recipe for home-made ice-cream - no machine, no incessant churning, it's easy.
Armed with my home-made mincemeat I found a recipe for Christmas ice-cream and set about buying the requisite ingredients.
Let's see. Condensed milk - that's easy - and ... whipping cream.
Here we go again!
Over a decade ago when my eyes were keen and my beard dark I tried buying whipping cream here in France and discovered to my dismay that cream is a territorial species.
We Brits delight in half-cream, single-cream, whipping cream, double cream and clotted cream.
Americans, however, separated by a wide ocean and two-hundred years of cultural divergence, have their own classification, which includes "heavy cream".
Here in France I am still struggling to understand why some crème still tastes sour, and so is obviously crème fraîche, even though it doesn't say so on the pot.
Here is what I have discovered.
If you want whipping cream then you buy crème fleurette, which has added alginates to provide a frothing agent and help it whip. (shudders ... I can't, I just can't...)
Otherwise if you want to whip your cream you need to buy 30% cream.
To get non crème fraîche and have a cream that does not taste soured at all I only know of one brand, which comes in a kind of 33cl sachet.
Otherwise, since the ice-cream recipe contains sweetened condensed milk and I need 50cl of cream, I just frown, knuckle down and buy crème fraîche.
The holy grail of cream here is France is Crème d'Isigny, which is thick and unctuous and will play the role of clotted cream if you have good scones and are of a greedy and forgiving nature.