It’s the sweet rosy season of Apples everyone! Hurry up and eat one to keep the flu and doctors at bay! No offense to doctors in general, but the less I see of you (unless you’re friends or family), the better it is for me as it means I’m healthy 🙂
Actually, in terms of apples, it really is the late harvest season for them, but The Boy and I were recently sent six Jazz apples to try (a cross between Gala and Braeburn apple varieties).
Rather than just munching down on them and enjoying their lovely texture and effervescence feel like normal people, the Boy decided he had to get all clinical with the fruit and get down and molecular with it.
Sometimes, I wish for a normal partner in crime.
“Why can’t we just eat the fruit?!” I demanded of him. He responded, “Because it’s not special, and we have all these food chemicals to use” rather maniacally with that gleam in his eye. That gleam which I’ve come to know so well, which usually means that there won’t be any breakfast, lunch or dinner served until he had completed his crazy experiments in the kitchen.
What occurred next in our humble kitchen was both tremendously fun (if I must admit) and beautiful.
A dish capturing not only the humble apple in all its beauty, but encapsulates all the flavours of the Jazz apples in various forms and textures.
We bring you, the Apple Verrine!
*roll of thunder for dramatic effect*
It gets a bit crazy here as you can see with all the different utensils, instruments and ingredients that is needed to make apples taste like apples.
I’m sure there’s some logic behind it, but if Ferran, Hervé and Heston are to be believed, we must follow in their instructions to enhance the flavour of good produce to taste like, good produce.
Are you with me? Good!
Before we begin, please note that the Playground Series are mostly trial and error experiments. No measurements were taken down as this is mostly experimental (except for Ferran’s recipe on the Apple Caviar). This is our second Playground post, if you remember, our first post was the Deconstructed BKT.
The Boy and I also had a side competition on the best looking presented Apple Verrine. Mine is the prettier and classier version with the two artistic frozen apple peels (top right), and his is the lower standard other glass (hah, that’s what happens, when he leaves the writing to me on this blog 😛 ).
So, ladies and gentlemen, shall we begin?
First Layer: Chewy Salted Caramel with Caramelised Apples & Lime Zest
Chewy Salted Caramel made with sugar, double cream and butter.
Caramelised Apples & Lime Zest – Peel, core and quarter apples. Melt sugar until it starts to caramelise. Add apple quarters and butter. Coat apples with caramel and continue cooking until tender and a nice caramel colour forms. Careful not to over-cook them as you wouldn’t want the apples too soft. Take caramelised apples out to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut them into cubes. Grate some lime zest over the apples.
Second Layer: Cubed Apples
Peel and core apples. Cut into cubes. Place cubed apples into ice water with a few drops of lemon juice (to prevent apples from oxidising).
Third Layer: Apple Infused Whipped Cream
You will need a Cream Whipper for this. Mix thickened cream with concentrated apple juice (not too much juice or it’ll be too liquid). Pour mixture into a cream whipper and charge with two N2O cream chargers. Give the whipper a good shake and keep in refrigerator until required.
Fourth Layer: Apple Jelly Cubes
Heat apple juice and add Agar-Agar powder. Stir until dissolve and turn off heat. Pour mixture into a mold and leave in refrigerator to cool and set. Once the jelly sets, cut them into cubes.
Fifth Layer: Apple Noodles
This is the same process as the Apple Jelly Cubes. Instead of cutting them into cubes, cut them lengthwise into thin long strands. You will need to slice them thinly with a sharp knife. They should look like flat rice noodles.
Sixth Layer: Apple Caviar (Spherification)
This is the toughest layer to prepare among the rest. You will need a syringe, slotted spoon/ladle, stick blender, 235ml of apple juice, distilled water, Sodium Alginate and Calcium Chloride for this process. I’ve used Ferran Adria’s Apple Caviar recipe minus the use of baking soda to make them.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of Calcium Chloride with 2 cups of distilled water (or water without the presence of salt/minerals). Leave the Calcium Chloride bath in the refrigerator to cool.
Mix 1/3 of apple juice with 1/2 teaspoon of Sodium Alginate using a stick blender until dissolved. Heat mixture until it reaches 95 degrees Celsius. Turn heat off and pour in the balance of the apple juice. Strain mixture with a fine sieve to remove any air bubbles.
Fill syringe with your apple solution and release a drop at a time into the Calcium Chloride bath. Let it “cook” for 30 seconds. Take the apple caviars out with a slotted spoon and rinse in a bowl of cold water to rid of any excess Calcium Chloride solution.
Seventh Layer: Apple Foam
Mix apple juice and Lecithin powder with a stick blender (make sure that the Lecithin dissolves). Start blending close to the surface to produce more foam. Leave foam to settle for a minute or two (to stabilise). Scoop the foam at the top.
Start building your dish with all the elements prepared. There’s no rule on which element comes first so be creative. If you want, garnish the top with leftover apple skin and some lime zest.
This is the Boy’s Apple Verrine, using the layers described above. The foam at the top isn’t very visible anymore as it took quite a while preparing the dish for picture taking.
This is my Apple Verrine. Isn’t it just so glamorous and pretty? *tee hee*
The fact that the sun was shining brightly on the day we had this experiment was a bonus, and as you can tell, we had a little bit too much fun with capturing the shots of the Apple Verrine.
Did I mention that they make really good desserts for dinner parties?
What I like about Jazz Apples is that on its own, it is crunchy, creamy, crisp and effervescent. Yup. The feel of the apple on your palate is kind of bubbly. A bit like drinking apple cider, but without the alcohol content.
And we managed to capture that as well in the verrine. No easy feat I can assure you!
[Jazz Apples provided by Media Moguls]
Jazz Apples can be found in most supermarkets or fruit/vege grocers. I found them at my local Woolies.
So tell me my dear friends, are you a red apple or a green apple fan? I am a bit of both, as I just like apples!