Nougat Pyramid with Glazed Fruits and Orange Sauce
Delicate nougat studded with marinated and crystallized fruits is molded into pyramids and frozen overnight. When unmolded, they are served with crisp tuiles pressed against their sides, and macerated fruit. Chef Kevin Thornton does all the whipping and beating for this dish by hand so he can sense and precisely control the texture and density of the ingredients. His tip: the egg whites are stiff enough when you can tip the bowl upside down and they don’t slide out.
- Orange - 1 quarter
- Confectioner's Sugar - 1/3 cup
- Flour - 1/4 cup
- Egg White - 1
- Vanilla Bean - 1
- Pistachio nuts - 1 tablespoon, crushed
- Butter - 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick), soft
- Sugar - 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon
- Water - 1-1/2 teaspoons
- Almonds - 1/2 cup, slivered
- Pistachio nuts - 1/2 cup, shelled
- Raspberries - 1/2 cup
- Crystallized Mixed Fruit - 1/2 cup (ginger, orange peel, mango, papaya, grapefruit peel)
- Strawberries - 1 cup, hulled and chopped
- Blueberries - 1/4 cup
- Framboise - 1/2 cup (alt. other raspberry-flavored liqueur)
- Water - 1-1/2 teaspoons
- Honey - 2 tablespoons
- Egg Whites - 2
- Confectioner's Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon
- Orange Sauce
- Simple Syrup - 4 cups
- Orange Juice - Juice of 12 oranges
- Orange Zest - Zest of 1 orange
- Vanilla bean - 1
- Orange - 1/2
- Simple Syrup - 1/2 cup
- Blueberries - 1/2 cup
- Raspberries - 1/2 cup
- Red Currants - 1/2 cup
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Mint - 8 leaves
To make the tuiles: Bring a small pan of water to a boil. Pare the zest from the orange, dice, and put in the water. Immediately strain, and put the zest in ice water. Strain again and drain on paper towels. Blend the sugar and flour together in a mixing bowl, then stir in the egg white. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a sharp knife, putting the seeds in the batter (the pod may be placed in a container of granulated sugar to scent the sugar). Stir in the nuts and soft butter. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and butter the paper. Roll out the batter paper-thin and cut into 32 triangles with one short side and two long sides. Bake 8 – 9 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and place the tuiles on a cool surface or a rack to cool quickly.
To make the nougat: Lightly spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil spray, or line with silicone paper. Bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat and boil until it turns a rich golden color. (300 F on a candy thermometer, hard-crack stage.) Do not stir the mixture; brush away any crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in warm water. Remove from heat and stir in the almonds and pistachios. Pour onto the prepared sheet and let cool. When cooled and hardened, break the candy into large pieces, then crush very fine.
Mash half of the raspberries. Dice the crystallized fruit and place the diced fruit, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries in a bowl with the Framboise. Toss to coat and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
In a small pan over medium heat, bring the water and honey to a boil and cook until the mixture reaches 266 F on a candy thermometer. In a deep bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Whisk the honey syrup to cool it to 220 F. Whisking the egg whites constantly, slowly pour the syrup into the whites in a thin stream until stiff, glossy peaks form. In a deep bowl, beat the cream until it stands in firm peaks. Fold in the marinated fruit. Fold the whipped cream and egg whites together. Place the mixture in 3 – 3-1/2-inch pyramid molds, smooth the tops, and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight.
To make the sauce: Heat the simple syrup to 165 F on a candy thermometer in a saucepan. Stir in the orange juice and zest. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a sharp knife, putting the seeds in the syrup. Simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture has reduced by three-fourths in volume. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and let cool to room temperature.
To make the garnishes: Pare the zest from the orange and cut in small julienne. Cook the zest in the syrup over medium heat until the syrup has reduced and has begun to crystalize on the zest. Remove the zest and allow to cool. Roll the blueberries, raspberries, and currants in confectioner’s sugar.
To serve: Remove the molds from the freezer and let stand for 1 minute. Dip quickly up to the rim in very warm water; run a sharp knife around the edge. Unmold one pyramid in the center of each serving plate. Lean a tuile cookie up each side of each pyramid. Arrange the blueberries and currants around the plates. Drizzle orange sauce around the base of the pyramids. Place a cluster of candied orange peel and a mint leaf at the apex of each pyramid. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.