Topaz apples with hay

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Hay is a surprisingly tasty way to add depth of flavour to creams and emulsions, as demonstrated in this unusual recipe from Tommy Banks. The hay mousse is paired with shards of brown sugar meringue, before being topped with a fluffy granita made with Topaz apples, which grow around Tommy's farm in Yorkshire. All the elements of this dish can be made in advance, then assembled just before serving.

First published in 2019




Hay mousse

  • 25g of hay
  • 275g of double cream
  • 1 gelatine leaf
  • 198g of condensed milk

Brown sugar meringue

Topaz apple granita

  • 4 apples, preferably Topaz variety
  • Bramley apple verjus


  • Sous vide equipment
  • Piping bag and nozzle
  • Juicer
  • Muslin cloth


Start by making the hay cream the day before you plan to serve the dish. Preheat an oven to 160°C and arrange the hay on a baking tray. Cook for 1 hour, then place in a large vacuum bag with the double cream and seal. Leave to infuse for 12 hours in the fridge
  • 25g of hay
  • 275g of double cream
Prepare the meringue the day before too. Preheat the oven to 80°C/gas mark 1/4. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks, then gradually add the brown sugar followed by the icing sugar. Whisk for 15 seconds until combined, then transfer to a piping bag. Pipe ¾ cm strips of the mixture close to one another onto greaseproof paper, then leave to dry out in the oven overnight
The next day, the meringue should have formed a thin sheet. Break the meringue into shards and place into an airtight container until ready to serve
For the granita, juice the apples and pour the juice into a pan. Gently warm and skim off any scum that rises to the top. Strain the juice through muslin cloth and weigh the amount of juice. Divide the weight by 10 and add that amount of apple verjus (for example, if you have 250g of apple juice, add 25g of apple verjus). Tommy transfers this mixture to a spray bottle to spray into liquid nitrogen at his restaurant, but you can pour it into a container and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours to solidify at home
  • 4 apples, preferably Topaz variety
  • Bramley apple verjus
For the hay mousse, soak the gelatine leaf in cold water for 10 minutes. Heat 25g of the hay cream in a pan over a low heat and add the soaked gelatine, stirring until dissolved. Take off the heat and transfer to the fridge to set
  • 1 gelatine leaf
Take the remaining 250g of hay cream and whip with the condensed milk until light peaks form. Combine with the set hay cream, whisking until light and airy, then transfer to a piping bag
  • 198g of condensed milk
To serve, pipe large blobs of the hay mousse in the centre of each plate, then arrange shards of the brown sugar meringue on top. Use a fork to scrape the granita into a snow-like texture, then scatter over the top to finish
First published in 2019

In the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, Tommy Banks utilises his family's farm to create complex, contemporary dishes that perfectly represent the local area.

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