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Apple soufflé

Ingredients

For the apples
For the garnish
For the sabayon sauce
For the pastry cream
For the soufflé mixture

Preparation method

  1. For the apples, preheat the oven to 170C/350F/Gas 3.

  2. Slice the base of the apples so they sit flat on a baking tray. Slice one-third off the top of each apple and reserve them. Place a pastry cutter in the centre of the apple as a template and scoop out the flesh using a melon baller, (reserve these apple balls for your caramelised apple garnish), leaving a 0.5cm/¼in 'wall'.

  3. Heat the butter, lemon juice, sugar and Calvados in a small non-reactive saucepan until the butter has melted. Brush the insides of the apples with the mixture. Bake the apples in the oven for 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cool, cover the tray with cling film and chill until needed.

  4. For the garnish, heat the butter and sugar in a small pan over a low to medium heat until it has melted and formed a golden caramel. Add the reserved apple balls and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring to coat the apples in the caramel. Set aside until ready to serve.

  5. For the sabayon, bring a little water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Suspend a heatproof bowl over the water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water as it will cook the eggs too quickly and scramble the sauce).

  6. Whisk together the egg yolks, Calvados and sugar in the heatproof bowl until pale and fluffy. Use a food thermometer and cook the sauce until it reaches 78C/172F.

  7. Remove from the heat and whisk the bowl of sabayon over crushed ice to cool as quick as possible.

  8. Once the sabayon mixture is completely cold, fold in the whipped cream and Calvados until well combined. Cover the sabayon with cling film and chill in the fridge until needed.

  9. For the pastry cream, bring the milk and vanilla purée to a simmer in a saucepan. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and flour in a bowl until well combined. Add half of the warm milk mixture and whisk well, then add the remaining milk and whisk until smooth.

  10. Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan, then return to the heat and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking continuously, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

  11. For the soufflé mixture, preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

  12. Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Gradually whisk in the sugar, until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. The whites need to be firmer than other sweet soufflés as there is more steam generated in the apple mould during the final stage of cooking and the soufflé mixture has to withstand the additional heat.

  13. Spoon 50g/2oz of the warm pastry cream into a bowl and whisk in the Calvados and one-third of the egg whites. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined. (NB: The remaining pastry cream can be set aside until cool, then frozen in 50g/2oz batches for use in other recipes).

  14. Remove the baked apples from the fridge and divide the soufflé mixture equally among them. Dust with icing sugar, then place the filled apples onto the prepared baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the soufflés have risen and are golden-brown.

  15. To serve, paint a line of sabayon down the centre of each of four serving plates. Arrange 4-5 caramelised apple balls at one end of the line. Place one apple soufflé into the centre of the line of sabayon. Spoon a quenelle of apple sorbet at the other end of the line of sabayon. Dust with the remaining icing sugar.

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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