Le Trou Normand – your secret weapon this festive season

There are many wonderful parts of the French culture that we can include in our festive and New Year’s celebration, but your secret weapon can be Le Trou Normand or The Normand Hole.

The Normand Hole is usually presented in a small glass such as a champagne glass and consists of a strong alcohol and a small scoop of Sorbet.  In France it is often known as the hidden course in a large meal, but the idea is to cleanse the palette and stimulate the appetite.

le trou normand

The tradition started in Normandy with apple brandy or Calvados, but today the course includes a variety of different flavours of alcohol and sorbet depending on the menu you are serving.

So how can this help and be included during your festive meal?  Most traditional Christmas Day Meals include a starter, large Turkey or meat main course and then a hearty dessert course of Christmas Pudding or Yule Log.

The ideal palette cleanser could be a lime sorbet with Vodka served after the starter leaving room for your Turkey and stuffing.  If you are considering making your own Trou Normand here is my favourite lime sorbet recipe from The Mini Sam Tan Kitchen:

Smooth Homemade Lime Sorbet – makes 1 litre

lime sorbet recipeStir together and dissolve over medium heat to form a thin sugar syrup:

500ml (2 cups) water
250g sugar

Let cool, then stir in the juice and zest of 6 large limes.
In a separate large bowl with an electric mixer, whisk 1 large egg white until a stiff meringue (ensure the bowl and whisk are clean and dry). Pour in the lime syrup liquid and continue whisking until the egg whites are incorporated (they may float to the top- don’t worry as you will be stirring it again once frozen).
Chuck into a container and put in the freezer. After about 3 hours, scrape down the frozen sides and stir thoroughly with a metal spoon. Refreeze for another 3 hours.
Remove and pour the entire contents into a juice blender (an electric whisk doesn’t make it smooth enough in my opinion). Blend until very smooth- depending on your blender, you may need to do it in small batches or use a spoon to push down the sides to get the icy mixture moving (be careful not to touch the moving blades). Pour back into the container and freeze until firm.


To create your Trou Normand, put one scoop into a glass and top with vodka and serve.
So there you have it, Le Trou Normand perfect for large wedding meals and your secret weapon on Christmas Day.

If you have your own Trou Normand recipes, I would love to see them.

Monique x x

Leave a Comment