Crème caramel with caramelised apple, dehydrated sponge and granny smith sorbet

The Recipes / Dessert

Stoke Park Buckinghamshire

Crème caramel
5 eggs
150g sugar
200ml milk
200ml cream

Caramelised apple
2 granny smith apples
150g sugar

Dehydrated sponge
4 eggs
80g sugar
25g ground almonds
75g plain flour
7g olive oil
Whipping cream siphon
2 polystyrene cups

Granny smith sorbet
5 granny smith apples
Juice of 1 lemon
500g sugar
2 drops lime green colour (optional)

Apple gel
300ml apple juice
1.5g of agar agar

Caramel sauce
50g caster sugar
100ml double cream 25g butter

Lemon balm for garnish

Serves 4

Separate the yolks from two eggs and whisk with the remaining three whole eggs and 100g of the sugar until combined. Boil the milk and cream together, then slowly pour into the egg mixture. Blend with a hand blender and pass through a sieve. Place the remaining 50g sugar in a saucepan and put on a low heat until it turns into a golden caramel: do not stir! Pour the caramel evenly into 4 oven-proof rectangular moulds and leave to set. Re-whisk and pour the egg mixture into the moulds, then place in a deep baking tray with water a third of the way up the moulds. Bake at 100°C for approximately 20 minutes until the mixture has a slight wobble, then remove the moulds from the tray. Leave to cool, then store in the fridge.

For the caramelised apples, peel then scoop out as many balls as possible with a melon baller. Make a caramel with the sugar as above. Once golden, add the apple balls and cook whilst stirring until soft and golden.

For the sponge, vigorously whisk the eggs. In a separate bowl blitz the sugar, ground almonds and flour to a fine powder. Lightly mix the egg mixture and powder together, keeping as much air as possible, and add the oil. Pour the mix into a whipping cream siphon and add two charges. Make a small hole in the bottom of each plastic cup. Squirt half the mix into one cup and the other half into the second cup. Cook each cup in the microwave on high for 1 minute, then when cool cut away the cup. Tear the sponge into small pieces, place on a baking tray, and bake for 1–2 hours at 50°C until dry.

Core and thinly slice the apples for the sorbet, leaving the skin on. Pour the lemon juice over the slices and put in the freezer. Boil the sugar and 500ml of water on a low heat, add the colouring if using, and pour the green liquid over the frozen apples. Blend on high for 10 minutes until almost all solids have gone, then pass through a fine sieve. Freeze the mix in a pacojet, or churn in an ice cream machine.

Reduce the apple juice by half on a high heat. Add the agar agar into the juice and whisk to combine before boiling the liquid once again. Pour the mix into a tray and leave to set in the fridge for half an hour. Once cool, blitz with a hand blender until
no solids remain, then transfer to a squeezy bottle or piping bag.

Caramelise the sugar for the sauce until golden, then stir in in the double cream. Boil for one minute then stir in the butter. Once melted, transfer to a container and cover with cling film before refrigerating until cool. Transfer to a squeezy bottle with a small nozzle.

Smear a line of sauce along the middle of the plate and across the full width. Angle the crème caramel on the line in the middle of the plate. Put two apple balls on the crème caramel, with two more at each end of the caramel line. Squeeze beads of apple gel and caramel sauce either side of the apple balls and on top of the crème caramel. Make a nest of sponge and top with a quenelle of sorbet. Decorate the plate and crème caramel with the rest of the sponge. Garnish with lemon balm.