Assiette of apples with apple sorbet, panna cotta and butterscotch sauce

Not yet rated

Matthew Tomkinson presents a sweet apple dessert recipe using contrasts in temperature and texture to highlight many different preparations of this classic ingredient. This recipe is an assembly of quite a few components, but they are prepared sequentially and many can be made in advance.

First published in 2015




Apple purée

Apple sorbet

  • 125g of granulated sugar
  • 125ml of water, hot
  • 1/2 tsp vitamin C powder

Panna cotta

  • 500g of double cream
  • 1 1/2 vanilla pods, split and scraped
  • 1 1/2 bronze gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
  • 60g of caster sugar
  • 250g of Greek yoghurt
  • 4 ginger biscuits, crumbled

Tarte tatin

Apple crisps

Butterscotch sauce

  • 220g of dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp of golden syrup
  • 110g of salted butter
  • 500g of double cream


  • Food processor or blender
  • 4 10cm tartlet tins
  • Ice cream maker
  • Fine strainer


For the crispy apple slice, first make a syrup, which will also form the base of the apple sorbet. Combine 125ml of hot water with 125g granulated sugar and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool
  • 125g of granulated sugar
  • 125ml of water
Slice a Granny Smith apple into rounds 1mm thick (use a mandoline if you have one.) Use a pastry brush to gently coat the apple slices with the simple syrup
Lay the apple slices on a non-stick baking tray. Dust the slices very lightly with icing sugar and then dry them in a very low oven (approximately 90ºC) until crisp - up to 12 hours.
  • icing sugar for dusting
For the apple purée, (which is used twice in this dish, both as topping for the panna cotta and as the base for apple sorbet) place the apples, water, and sugar in a large pan. Cook over a low heat until the apples are soft - approximately 10 minutes
Place the cooked apples into the food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate to cool the purée. Reserve 500g, refrigerated, for topping the panna cotta and use the remaining 500g to make the apple sorbet
Combine the reserved syrup, the apple purée, and the vitamin C powder. Mix well and churn in an ice cream maker. Freeze until ready to use
  • 1/2 tsp vitamin C powder
For the panna cotta, mix the sugar, the vanilla seeds and the double cream in a pan over a medium heat and briefly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the gelatine. Mix well
  • 1 1/2 vanilla pods
  • 60g of caster sugar
  • 500g of double cream
  • 1 1/2 bronze gelatine leaves
Pass the hot cream mixture through a fine strainer and then mix in the yoghurt. Pour into small kilner jars and place in the refrigerator to set - at least 4 hours. If you do not have kilner jars, use small ramekins or other small, deep serving dishes
For the Tarte tatin, peel the Cox's apples and cut two large cheeks from each one
In a thick-bottomed pan, slowly melt the sugar and cook it to a dark caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter
Place the apple cheeks into the pan, rounded side down, and cover the pan. Leave the pan covered and off the heat for 1 hour to cook the apples
Transfer each apple, rounded side down, into a 10 cm tart pan. Cover with a round of pastry dough and gently tuck the edge of the dough into the pan around the apple. Bake at 180ºC until the pastry is risen and golden
  • 4 puff pastry rounds
Remove the tarts from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Flip the tart pans onto a baking sheet lined with parchment to turn out the tarts apple-side up. Allow to cool
Make the butterscotch sauce shortly before serving. In a heavy-based pan, combine the golden syrup and brown sugar and cook over medium heat until it begins to smoke
  • 220g of dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp of golden syrup
Add the butter to the pan and mix well. Add the cream and briefly bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture through a fine sieve. Allow to cool
Reheat the tarts in a 180ºC oven until crispy. Place on serving plates beside a jar of the panna cotta. Top the panna cotta with a spoonful of the apple purée
Place one scoop of the apple sorbet on each plate and top with a dehydrated apple slice. Swirl a spoonful of the butterscotch across the plate. Crush the ginger biscuits into a fine crumble and sprinkle on top of the panna cottas at the last moment so they stay crispy. Serve
First published in 2015

Matthew Tomkinson’s elegant and highly accomplished food earned him a Roux Scholarship in 2005, as well as Michelin stars at The Goose and The Montagu Arms. He now cooks classically influenced comforting dishes at Betony at The Kings Head in Wiltshire.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.