Another dessert, however this is a real, real peach of a recipe. It has flavours that all go wonderfully together. The idea for this dessert was simple. It was about making a modern twist on one of my favourite ever dessert, apple crumble with custard. This dish has all the elements of the classic dish but with more style and in my opinion even better. It also is a great way to highlight the fantastic fruit that is the apple. The trick to a successful pannacotta is the amount of gelatine you add. For this recipe, I have added just enough gelatine so that it just sets. However if you don’t want to risk this, then you will get a way with slightly more gelatine but don’t add too much or your pannacotta will be as stiff as a priest in a playground. Not a good thing!
Spiced Pannacotta : Place 1 split vanilla pod, 1 cinnamon stick broke in half, 1 clove, 1 star aniseed and 200g caster sugar into a small saucepan. Pour over 500 ml milk and 300 ml double cream. Bring to the boil, making sure to stir it together so the sugar dissolves, then take off the heat and allow to infuse for a minimum of 30 minutes. Soak four leaves of gelatine in cold water for around 5 minutes. Reheat the spiced milk until hot and stir in the softened gelatine. Pass the cream mixture through a sieve into containers* to set. The pannacottas should take around 6 hours in the fridge to set.
*Any container will work, dariole molds are often used as they give a nice shape.
Apple Jelly: Bring 200 ml apple juice to the boil with a generous pinch of sugar. Add 4 g agar agar and mix quickly. Pass the apple juice through a sieve into a small shallow square or rectangular container (alternatively set the jelly in a bowl and just scoop out with a spoon). Once set, cut into small cubes.
Crumble: Crumble 150 g unsalted butter into 200g flour. Place in a single layer on a baking tray and squeeze over some runny honey. Bake in an oven set at 180 °C for around 5 minutes. Mix it all up and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to keep a good eye on it as it can easily burn. Place the crumble in a bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons of finely chopped roasted hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped pecans.
Apple Caramel: In a small saucepan reduce 200 ml apple juice by two thirds until it starts to take on a deep caramel colour and has become a light syrup consistency.
Caramelised Apple: Add a couple tablespoons of caster sugar in a frying pan with a good splash of apple juice and boil together. Cut a peeled eating apple (I used a Braeburn) into cubes and add into the pan. Cook until the apple is softened and caramelised.
Serving: Dip the dariole moulds in hot water to release the pannacottas and invert on to a plate. Dot a few cubes of apple jelly and caramelised apple around the pannacotta. Place a spoonful of crumble on top of the pannacotta. Drizzle the apple caramel around the plate and decorate with a few small mint leaves.
Good: A beautiful dessert. I would urge anybody to make this dessert and you definitely won’t regret it.
Bad: The only thing that I would be tempted to change next time would be to swap the apple jelly for an apple fluid gel. That really would be it and apart from that, it’s all positive for this one.2 comments