This stunning molecular apple dessert by Aaron Patterson is a gourmet nod to the traditional flavours and textures of a classic British apple and blackberry crumble. Apple and blackberry compotes, laced with Calvados and crème de mure respectively, are paired with apple sorbet and a golden crumb, while custard is swapped for a creamy vanilla panna cotta. When making the striking sugar dome centrepiece remember to check the fan is off before putting the powdered caramel in the oven.
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Begin by making the apple sorbet. Gently heat the sugar and lemon juice together in a small pan, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Mix through the apple purée, then transfer to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Keep frozen until ready to serve
100g of sugar
70ml of lemon juice
500g of apple purée
For the sugar dome, heat the fondant sugar in a pan until it reaches 158⁰C. Spread the nibbed almonds across a sheet of silicone paper and pour over the sugar. Set aside and leave to set
500g of fondant sugar
1 pinch of nibbed almonds
Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan off)/gas mark 6
Once the sugar has set into a caramel, break the sheet into pieces and blitz in a food processor, adding enough green food colouring to achieve a bright apple green
green food colouring
Using a drum sieve, dust the powdered caramel evenly across a large baking tray lined with a fresh sheet of silicone paper until completely covered. Transfer to the oven (making sure the fan is off) and cook for 4 minutes, or until fully melted into a sheet of caramel
Remove the tray from the oven without turning off the heat. If any holes have appeared, spread the melted sugar mixture across the tray using a pallet knife until smooth and even. Before it sets, cut the caramel into 8 even pieces (large enough to cover the sphere moulds)
Place the caramel pieces back in the oven for 2–3 minutes. Lightly grease the moulds, then carefully lie the silicone paper – caramel-side down – onto the moulds
Smooth the caramel around the moulds to form smooth domes, trimming any excess paper and caramel from the bottom. Remove the silicone paper and allow the domes to set. Once set, remove from the domes and store in an airtight container until ready to serve
Meanwhile, prepare the blackberry compote. Combine the lemon juice, sugar and crème de mure in a medium pan and heat until reduced to a syrup-like consistency. Add the blackberries and poach in the syrup until the begin to break down
1 lemon, juice only
50ml of crème de mure
20g of sugar
2 punnets of blackberries
Divide the compote between 4 serving bowls, making a well in the centre for the panna cotta. Set aside and leave to cool
For the panna cotta, gently heat the milk, sugar and vanilla seeds together in a pan to warm through. Soak the gelatine in water for 5 minutes to soften, then add it to to the pan and stir until dissolved
1 vanilla pod, scraped
150ml of milk
40g of sugar
1 1/2 gelatine leaves
Place a bowl over a larger bowl of ice and add the cream. Whisking continuously, pour in the hot cream mixture until fully incorporated. Leave to thicken, stirring occasionally, until nearly set, then pour over the compote and transfer to the fridge for at least 1 hour to set
150ml of double cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Make the crumble by rubbing together the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a bowl until the texture resembles breadcrumbs. Spread out across a baking tray and bake for 10–15 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool completely, storing in an airtight container until ready to serve
50g of plain flour
25g of butter
25g of sugar
1 pinch of salt
For the Calvados apple, place the sugar in a small pan and heat to form a dark caramel. Peel and core the Granny Smith, then dice into small cubes and add to the pan along with the Calvados, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix well, then leave to reduce until the apples have softened and are coated in a glossy caramel
100g of sugar
1 Granny Smith apple
50ml of Calvados
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
1 lemon, juiced
To serve, remove the serving bowls from the fridge and place a half-dome in the centre of each bowl, half filling it with the Calvados apple. Top the Calvados apple with a scoop of apple sorbet, then carefully place another half dome on top to form a round sugar 'apple'
Sprinkle the crumble over the surface of the panna cotta, adding mint leaves, edible flowers and blackberry halves to garnish
6 blackberries, halved lengthways
fresh mint leaves
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