‘How’d you like them apples?’

It’s been a while since my last post, technical faults prevented me from getting into my laptop. When I say technical faults what I actually mean is that I broke the earth pin on my laptop charger and then carried it around with me so I could still use it. This was an unsatisfactory and slightly dangerous solution which failed when I was unable to pull the pin out of a socket on the Oxford Tube and thus had no means of powering the laptop.

That aside…

A couple of weeks ago I cooked a little dinner for myself and the girlfriend, it was an impromptu affair. I was pretty happy with how it all went, the dessert in particular, which was apple in a few different forms. Good though it was I wanted to try and push it further so this is the dish I’ll be working on for the next week or so.

Originally it was served set in a glass, with an apple parfait at the bottom, some apple brunoise, granita, a caramel film and a quenelle of crème fraiche to top it. It ate well, but the balance of the dish was off, both flavour-wise and aesthetically. It needed more colour in it as well as some warmth to it.

The caramel film didn’t come out how I had expected it to, it was a Laiskonis recipe I scaled down, a decision which rarely pays off. In the incarnation today it was absent, I had intended to replace it with a caramel gel from the Eleven Madison Park Cookbook but I screwed up the process because I was impatient.

I think it looks better for being on a slate, the black offsets the pale nature of the dish to good effect. I’m still unhappy with the general composition though. I’ve been playing round with a few different directions to take it in.

I might look to make the parfait into a sphere and then freeze it and dip it into a gel made from apple skins to coat it. Obviously the aim is to recreate the look of an apple on the plate. I’d keep the granita, but I’m not sure where it leaves the rest of the dish. I might work caramel into the gel to coat it so that the warmth is there as a background note, maybe with a few spices to add some depth to the dish.

This may be as far as this dish goes though. For some reason I don’t feel as attached to it as others I am currently looking at working. Next in line may well be based on raw cake batter… Watch this space.

……………

Apple Granita

100ml stock syrup

250ml good apple juice

Cider vinegar, to taste

Mix in a container and freeze, scrape it with a fork when you want to serve it. I made mine deliberately very tart and it worked really well, making it much more refreshing on the palate. Play around with it until you’re happy with it though.

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