Monday 10 March 2014

Toffee apple pudding and Crème fraîche ice cream

No, that's not Branston Pickle on the sponge. But yes, that is a large and rather delicious blackberry tadpole.

One of those happy kitchen accidents. I turned my back for a moment and my apple juice and sugar reduced rather too quickly to a caramel. I managed to catch it before it actually burnt though. There is a gnat's wing between a deep caramel and monstrous sugary tar. I cooled the pan quickly in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.

You start with these:

You end up with this:

There are six elements to this dish:

1. Apple sponges

2. Toffee apple sauce
3. Apple crisps
4. Crystallised walnuts
5. Blackberry sauce
6. Crème fraîche ice cream

This dessert is a variation of the apple and rhubarb dish I did last year. That was based on a James Mackenzie recipe. However  this replaces the rhubarb sorbet with Philip Howard's crème fraîche ice cream. I wanted something tangy, and not so creamy to cut against the sticky apple sauce. This is really worth trying. Even if you don't have an ice cream machine. The texture is very silky and there's no annoying, splitty, stir-me-for-an-hour, mother of a custard to make as a base. 

The first four elements are in the original recipe (substituting walnuts for the pistachios). Just take the apple sauce that bit further, heating it until it becomes a caramel. I'm not going to offer any reassurance here. You may well burn it. It is a bugger.

The blackberry sauce is... blackberries and sugar syrup whizzed together then sieved.

Creme Fraiche Ice Cream

About as simple as it gets this. There's very little cooking. A child could do it... if it didn't involve burny, melty sugar.

Combine 110g caster sugar and 35g liquid glucose in a heavy pan with 50g water and gently heat until the mass has dissolved. Off the heat, allow to cool, and then whisk in the 260ml 
Crème fraîche, 260ml double cream and 15ml of lemon juice. Cool the pan in a bowl of ice water and when very cold, churn in your ice cream maker. 

Now for some reason I can't fathom, Phil calls this a sorbet. There maybe some technical say-so for this but it's escaping me. He also warns against churning more than two hours before eating but I've had this after two hours and after a week. On neither occasion did I complain.

A note on plating up... paste a blob of the sticky apple on the plates to secure the walnut mix as a base for the ice cream.If you don't the whole shebang will skate across the plate like a black and white Buster Keaton, as soon as you pick it up.

While I was looking up things for this post I found this picture on The Square's website.

Golly, doesn't THAT look fantastic. I'm assuming it's a beetroot and goats cheese starter.
I will steal! Philip Howard is an artist indeed.


  1. These look so good, will have to give these a go some time, thanks for sharing....