Fresh Autumn Fruits Roasted in Tahitian Vanilla with Crunchy Tulip Cups
Crisp tulip cups made with powdered almonds hold a mixture of fruits which have been cooked and caramelized in light sugar caramel. The pan is deglazed with a lemon-water mixture and drizzled over the fruit as a sauce. Feel free to vary the fruit mixture according to seasonal availability.
- Crunchy Almond Tulip Cups - four, (recipe below)
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Water - 3/4 cup
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick)
- Tahitian vanilla beans - 4, or similar rich vanilla beans, split
- Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples - 2, peeled, cored, seeded, quartered, and dipped in lemon-water mixture
- Anjou pears - 2, peeled, cored, seeded, quartered, and dipped in lemon-water mixture
- Ripe Pineapple - 4, halved slices, fresh
- Bananas - 4 small, peeled (or 2 large bananas, halved)
- Purple Figs - 2, stemmed, quartered
- Navel Orange - 1, peeled, all pith removed, segmented, seeded
- White Italian or Green seedless grapes - 2/3 cup, large
- Strawberries - 4 , hulled
- Martinique - 1 tablespoon, or other high-quality dark rum
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Crunchy Almond Tulip Cups
- Slivered Almonds - 1 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/3 cup
- Flour - 1 scant cup
- Egg Whites - 2/3 cup, about 4 large
- Confectioner's Sugar - 1 cup
Make Crunchy Almond Crusts (below); let cool.
Mix lemon juice and water; reserve. In a heavy non-reactive skillet, caramelize butter and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon and tilting pan to prevent burning.When sugar is golden, deglaze with 1/4 cup of the lemon juice-water mixture. Add the vanilla bean pods. Add the fruit little by little, starting with the longest to cook, the apples and pears. Turn and cook until softened and caramelized. Add a spoonful of lemon juice and water as needed to keep liquid in the pan. Add and caramelize the pineapple, bananas, figs, oranges, grapes, and strawberries, in that order. When all the fruit is cooked, deglaze pan with the rum, stirring to form sauce. Remove the fruit to a platter. Reserve the sauce and keep warm.
To serve: Place a Crunchy Almond Crust in the palm of your hand and put a little fruit in the bowl portion. Place it on a dessert plate, using one caramelized apple quarter to brace it. Fill crust with one quarter of the caramelized fruits, pleasingly arranged, adding the strawberries last. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Repeat with three remaining dessert plates. Garnish with mint leaves and the split vanilla beans. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.
Crunchy Almond Tulip Cups
You will have enough batter to practice baking and quickly molding these multi-purpose almond cookie shells. They are also good for filling with ice cream, fresh berries, and sorbets.
To powder the almonds, process the slivered blanched almonds in a blender; this step may be done in advance. Using a whisk, mix powdered almonds, cream, flour, egg whites, and confectioner’s sugar together in a small bowl until batter is smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line the back of a metal baking sheet with a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. For each cookie, spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter onto the parchment. Using the back of a soup spoon, spread the batter out thinly into an oval about 8 to 9 inches long and 6 inches wide. Practice on one or two cookies first. Bake until cookies are lightly brown around the edges, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Loosen cookies using a wide spatula. Lift one cookie and transfer to the bottom of a old-fashioned glass or small bowl. Gently mold cookie with your fingers to create a slipper shape, with a bowl at one end and a long extension. Let cool before removing from the bowl. Repeat with remaining cookies to form 8 cups; if the cookies become too stiff to mold, warm again briefly in the oven until they are pliable. Let cookies cool completely, then remove and set aside. Make 8 tulip cups , in case of breakage; extras may be stored, sealed, in a cool dry place for several days.