Roasted Apples with Warm Apple Soup, Apple Granite, and Creme Fraiche Sorbet ►
This is a tour de force with apples. It is astounding how many textures and tastes Chef Gerhard develops using apples and little else. The apple granite and dried apples may be made ahead of time, but most of the dish must be made shortly before serving. Note that instructions say to cut or peel the apples just before using; this is to prevent browning, which occurs very rapidly when uncooked apple is exposed to air. Note, too, that recipes for various parts of the dish will produce more than is needed for four — but the apple granite and dried apples can be stored and used in later dishes, and the apple lasagna is good all by itself or with a little ice cream or sorbet. The vanilla sugar used in the roasted apples is just granulated sugar in which a split vanilla bean has been stored.
- Apple Granite
- Granny Smith Apples - 3
- Simple Syrup - 1/2 cup
- Dried Apples
- Granny Smith Apples - 2
- Pastry Cream
- Milk - 1 cup
- Egg Yolks - 3
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Flour - 2 tablespoons, sifted
- Corn Starch - 1 tablespoon, sifted
- Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon
- Apple Lasagna
- Cinnamon - 2 teaspoons, ground
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Golden Delicious Apples - 3 – 4 large
- Roasted Apple
- Golden Delicious Apple - 1 large
- Clarified Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Apple Soup
- Red Delicious Apples - 4 large
- To Finish
- Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup
- Water - 2 tablespoons
- Granny Smith Apple - 1
- Red Delicious Apple - 1
- Golden Delicious Apple - 1
- Cinnamon - 3 teaspoons, ground
- Sugar - 1-1/2 cup
- Brioche Circles - Eight, 4-inch each
- Clarified butter - 1 cup
- Crème Fraîche Sorbet
- Water - 6-1/2 cups
- Glucose - 3/4 cup
- Sugar - 4 cups
- Stabilizer - 18 grains
- Lemon Juice - 3/4 cup
To make the granite: Core the apples and freeze for about 20 minutes. Juice the apples with the peel on for bright color. Immediately mix the juice with the simple syrup; taste for sweetness and add more syrup if necessary. Let cool to room temperature. Pour into a shallow pan and freeze. Stir well with a fork every half hour until firm.
To dry the apples: The oven must be maintained between 120 F and 140 F to dry the apples successfully; any higher temperature will cook the apples. Place a large baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven to deflect any heat from a top cooking element. Cover a wire rack tightly with cheesecloth or nylon net and place on a baking sheet. Slice the apples crosswise into very thin translucent slices, less than 1/16 inch, on a mandoline or V-slicer. Spread the slices in a single layer on the prepared rack. Place in the oven and leave the door ajar. Dry, turning the rack assembly half way around every 2 to 3 hours. Drying time will depend upon the amount of moisture in the fruit and the temperature constancy of the oven; continue rotating and checking until the apple slices are crisp and dried. Remove and cool; store in zipper-type bags.
To make the pastry cream: Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; remove from heat. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add the flour and corn starch and beat until blended. Add a large spoonful of hot milk to the egg mixture and whisk to blend; slowly pour the egg mixture into the milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the heat and cook over medium heat until it begins to come to a boil, whisking constantly. Whisking vigorously, cook for 2 minutes; the mixture will thin slightly. Remove from heat. Pour into a bowl and whisk in the vanilla. Press plastic wrap on the surface or rub cold butter over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the apple lasagna: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix the cinnamon and sugar. Very lightly butter a square baking pan. Peel and core the apples one at a time just before slicing. Using a rotary slicer, slice long thin slices from the apples, the longer and thinner the better. Lay the slices side-by-side in a single layer in the pan; sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Place a second layer of slices at right angles to the first; sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Continue, alternating the directions of the layers, to create ten layers. Bake 20 minutes; test for doneness by inserting the point of a knife. If any resistance is encountered, bake longer until all layers are soft. Remove and let cool.
To prepare the roasted apple: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Peel and core the apple and cut into quarters. Heat the clarified butter in an ovenproof saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and saute the apple quarters until lightly browned on all sides, 2 – 3 minutes; sprinkle with vanilla sugar and saute for another minute, until the sugar has melted into a glaze. Place the apple quarters into the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until softened but not mushy. Remove and set aside.
To make the soup: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Peel and core two apples and cut into very small dice. Spread the apple dice in a medium ovenproof saute pan or skillet and brown in the oven, 8 to 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and put over medium-low heat. Juice the remaining two apples. Immediately stir the juice into the browned apple dice and let it come to a simmer. Strain through a chinois or fine-meshed sieve lined with cheesecloth. Keep warm.
To assemble and serve: Place the lemon juice in a shallow bowl and add the water. Cut the apples in half and core. Do not peel. Cut into matchstick julienne. As each group of julienne is cut, rinse in the lemon juice, then drain on paper towels.
Heat the broiler to high. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a shallow bowl. Put the clarified butter in another shallow bowl. Dip the brioche circles in the butter, coating both sides, then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Place under a broiler until the sugar is melted; turn and melt the sugar on the other side. Remove.
Cut the apple lasagna into 3-inch squares.
Use large shallow serving bowls. Place a caramelized brioche circle in each serving bowl. Place an apple lasagna square on each of the brioche circles. Cut each baked apple quarter in half and place on two halves on each apple lasagna square, leaving a space between them. Put the pastry cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large fluted tip and pipe pastry cream into the space between the baked apple slices. Top with another circle of brioche. Stir the granite again with a fork and place a large spoonful on top of each brioche circle. Top the granite with a slice of oven-dried apple. Make four quenelles of crème fraîche sorbet using two large spoons and place one quenelle on top of each dried apple slice. Stand a dried apple slice vertically in each of the quenelles. Ladle warm apple soup around the base of the dessert. Sprinkle the fresh apple julienne into the soup.
To make the sorbet: Put the water, glucose, and all but 1/2 cup of the sugar in a large deep saucepan and heat to 85 F on a candy thermometer. Mix the remaining sugar and stabilizer and add to the saucepan; continue heating the mixture to 195 F. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let stand for 3 hours. Put the crème fraîche in a large bowl and pour the sugar mixture over it. Stir together with a whisk. Pour into an ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions; store in the freezer. The mixture may be kept refrigerated while being frozen in several batches if necessary.