The croustade will take 2 days to make. Prepare the dough the night before and leave in a warm place for a minimum of 4 hours before using. This recipe makes more dough than you will need - wrap the excess in cling film and freeze for up to one month.
For the croustade pastry, whip the egg whites with the sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
In a separate bowl, mix the hot water and egg yolks together until well combined.
Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture.
Place the flour and yeast into the bowl of an food mixer then slowly add the egg mixture and mix on a low speed for 5 minutes with a dough hook attachment, or until the dough starts to come away easily from the side of the bowl. Gradually add the oil and continue to mix until it has been completely absorbed. Continue to mix for 10 minutes on a low speed, then 3 more minutes on medium speed. (NB: This can be done by hand if you don't have a food processor with a dough hook attachment.)
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand into a smooth ball.
Divide the dough into three parts. Wrap one-third in cling film and chill in the fridge overnight. The remaining two-thirds can be wrapped separately in cling film and stored in the freezer for another occasion.
For the croustade base, place the chilled croustade dough in a warm place near the stove for 4 hours before you need it. Cover the work surface with a large cloth.
When the dough has returned to room temperature, flour your hands and flatten the dough carefully into a rectangle. With the help of another person, balance the dough on the backs of your hands and begin stretching the dough by stroking the backs of your hands underneath the dough, working from the centre and pulling your hands towards your body and towards the edge of the pastry until the pastry is paper-thin and measures approximately 70cm/27in x 70cm/27in.
Using a wide pastry brush, gently pat a thin coat of clarified butter all over the croustade pastry, then evenly sprinkle with caster sugar.
Trim the edges of the croustade base to form a large square, then cut the pastry into four 20cm/8in x 20cm/8in squares, and push each square of pastry, sugar-side down, into a round mini cake tin 10cm/4in in diameter, to line. Gently draw up the overhanging edges of the pastry and crumple them until they resemble crumpled ball of paper. Set aside to dry at room temperature overnight.
For the apple rosace, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Stir all the apple rosace ingredients except the apples together well combined to make a calvados butter.
Line the base of four round 14cm/6in non-stick cake moulds with a disc of silicone paper. Lightly brush the insides of each mould with the calvados butter and arrange the apple slices to cover the base of each tin, overlapping them neatly.
Brush the apple slices with more of the calvados butter to completely cover them. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the apples have softened and begun to caramelise. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly then cover with cling film and set aside until completely cool. Turn out the apple rosace onto a piece of greaseproof paper and cut a neat circle of apple slices from each rosace using an 11cm/5in round pastry cutter.
For the apple sauce, stir the water, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract together in a small saucepan and bring the mixture slowly to the boil. Add the chopped apples, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, or until the apples begin to soften. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend for one minute, or until smooth, and set aside to cool.
When the pastry has dried, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Bake the croustades and apple rosaces for 5 minutes, or until the croustades are crisp and golden-brown and the apple rosaces have warmed through.
Place one apple rosace into the middle of each of 4 serving plates and spoon the apple sauce around the edge. Place the croustade on top of the apple rosace and top the pastry with a scoop of ice cream (such as honey and ginger flavour), then sprinkle a little chopped stem ginger over the ice cream and serve immediately.
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