Exotic Fruit Gratin with Old Rum
This simple Caribbean dessert of fruit under a rum-flavored gratin offers a wonderful combination of flavors, textures, and temperatures. The apple garnish is an extraordinary creation.
- Apple Fountain Garnishes
- Lemon Juice - 1 lemon
- Water - 1 cup
- Golden Apple - 1, very crisp, large
- Red Apple - 1, very crisp, large
- Pastry Cream
- heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Half-and-half - 1 cup
- Vanilla Extract - 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Cornstarch - 1/4 cup
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Egg Whites - 6
- Myers’s Old Rum - 4 tablespoons
- Pastry Cream (above) - 1/2 cup, diced
- Pineapple - 1/2 cup, diced
- Papaya - 1/2 cup, diced
- Bananas - 1/2 cup, diced
- Mango - 1/2 cup, diced
- Kiwi - 1/2 cup, diced
- Strawberries - 4, large, thinly sliced
To make the apple fountains: Mix lemon juice and water. Quarter both apples, leaving the core intact. Dip the pieces in the lemon water. Lay each apple quarter flat on one side, flesh down; skin will be facing up, along one side. Using a very sharp serrated knife held at a 45 degree angle, place the knife 1/8 inch from the edge of the apple. Slice down to 1/8 inch from the bottom of the apple, being careful to slice all the way through the apple quarter. Turn the apple quarter to the other side, still skin-side up, and cut down in the same way to meet where the first cut ended, removing the apple center. Repeat these steps until the remaining apple center is too small to slice (you should have 5 to 6 apple slices when completed). Apple slices will lay on top of each other, each slice overlapping the one beneath it. Brush with the lemon-water mixture.
To prepare the pastry cream: In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, half-and-half, and vanilla until very hot but not boiling. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the eggs. Slowly pour one half of the cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, gently whisking to blend with the cream mixture remaining in the saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and is difficult to stir, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature.
To prepare the gratin: In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold in the pastry cream and rum.
To assemble: Heat the broiler to highest setting. Place the oven rack five inches beneath the broiler. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the fruit together. Divide the fruit equally between four ovenproof soup bowls. Spread 1/2 cup of gratin mixture over the fruit in each soup bowl. Set the bowls beneath the broiler until the top of the dessert is browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Place the bowls on serving plates and slide the apple fountains between the rim of the bowl and the plate edge to hold in place. Garnish with strawberry slices and serve immediately.