Trio of apple desserts

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Why have one dessert, when you can have three? Mark Dodson's glorious apple dessert trio means you don't have to choose between your favourites, serving up a miniature apple and calvados crème brûlée, apple crumble tart and creamy apple shot.

First published in 2015




Apple crumble tart

Sweet pastry

  • 250g of flour
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • 150g of butter, cold and diced
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • flour, for dusting

Apple shot

Apple and calvados crème brûlée


  • Bain-marie
  • Blow torch
  • Food mixer
  • Pastry brush
  • Shot glasses
  • Brûlée dishes


To make the sweet pastry for the tartlets, sieve the flour, icing sugar, 30g ground almonds and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the cold diced butter and use your fingertips to gently work into a rough breadcrumb like texture
Next, add the egg to the flour mixture and gently work it together into a ball. Sprinkle a little flour over the dough, flatten slightly and wrap in cling film. Rest in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Remove the pastry from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile flour a clean surface and a rolling pin
Roll the pastry flat just over 0.25cm thick, dusting with flour as you go to ensure it does not stick to the work surface
Use 4, 60mm tartlet cases to mould the pastry into. Push the pastry into the tartlet casings/moulds removing any excess pastry hanging over the edge
Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the inside of the tarts with egg wash. Place in the oven for 12–15 mintues, or until light golden in colour
To make the apple shot, fold the purée into the cream and place evenly into the base of the shot glasses. Ensure the top is smooth and level then set aside to chill in the fridge
To make the jelly layer for the apple shot, add the apple to juice to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the softened gelatine and whisk to dissolve
Allow the mixture to cool before slowly pouring over the apple cream base. Allow to set in the fridge until needed
For the apple crumble, mix 25g cold butter, 25g sugar, 25g ground almonds and 30g flour in a food processor to create the crumble then set aside
Peel, dice and cook one apple with 40g of blackberries in a small pan until the apple softens and is tender – forming a smooth mix with the berries
Add the sugar to a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt and turn a golden brown colour. Add the butter and cinnamon and stir through immediately. Add the apple and blackberry mix to the pan
Divide the mixture into four portions and place into pre-cooked 60mm sweet pastry tartlets. Top the tartlets with the crumble mixture and bake at 180°C/ gas mark 4 for 8–10 minutes
Lastly, make the apple and calvados crème brûlée. Boil the cream and pour it onto the yolks and sugar while whisking continuously. Whisk well until all the sugar has dissolved
Place a pan on a medium heat. Peel and cube the apple and add a small knob of butter to the pan. As soon as it begins to foam, add the apple and cook until lightly golden
Add the Calvados and flambé off the excess alcohol. Place a spoon of this into each of the brûlée dishes. Pour in the brûlée mixture and bake in a bain-marie in an oven at 150°C/ gas mark 2 for 15–20 minutes until set (it should have a slight wobble)
  • 5ml of Calvados
Remove and allow to cool in the water. Once cool set in the fridge until completely cold. When ready to serve, remove from the fridge and dust generously with icing sugar. Use a blowtorch (or place under a grill) to caramelise. Serve with the apple shot and warm crumble on either side
  • icing sugar
First published in 2015

Mark Dodson speaks the language of comfort food with Shakespearean fluency, turning perfectly formed elements into down-to-earth (but heavenly) compositions.

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