Baby Apples

By Heath Dumesny
Feature recipe for February 2013

Serves 4
  • 12 baby whole Sweetheart apples, peeled, kept whole, core removed
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 litre water
  • 375ml bottle Noble One dessert wine
  • Spices; cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 100g egg yolks
  • 125g sugar
  • 40g custard powder
  • 25g butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 300ml cream
  • 50g butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Biscotti, or other biscuits, crushed
  • Candied nuts of your choice, crushed
  • Mint sprigs or liquorice weed
  • 150g spiced yoghurt (natural yoghurt sweetened with sugar and spiced with toasted cinnamon, nutmeg etc.)

Cover apples with poaching ingredients and bring to simmer. Cover with a cartouche (baking paper lid) and poach for about 1 hour, until the apples start to soften. Cool in poaching liquor.

For the crème patisserie, heat milk and vanilla bean in a small pot. Combine yolks, sugar and custard powder, then whisk in some hot milk. Strain back into pot. Bring to the boil over a slow heat, cook for 2-3 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Cool in the fridge in a tray, with cling-film pressed onto custard. Once cool, whisk until smooth.

Bring cream almost to the boil. In another pot over medium heat, cook sugar and water to a deep, golden colour. Slowly whisk in cream. Off the heat, add salt to taste and whisk in butter. Cool.
Smear spiced yoghurt on each plate. Fill the apples with the crème patisserie and roll in the crushed biscotti. Pipe 3 small mounds of the salted caramel onto the yoghurt. Put the Apples on the plate. Garnish with crushed candied nuts and mint sprigs or liquorice weed.

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