Impress your friends with this deceptively simple make-ahead slow-cooked apple dessert. The natural pectin in the apples helps it set beautifully and the long cooking gives a deep caramel flavour.
Equipment and preparation: You will need a terrine mould of 9 x 9 x 18cm/3½ x3 ½ x 7in and an ice cream maker.
300g/10½oz puff pastry
For the vanilla ice cream, prepare a large mixing bowl and a sieve.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the egg yolks and sugar until a pale straw colour.
Combine the milk, cream and vanilla paste in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for about five minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 30 seconds.
Pour the milk onto the eggs and sugar, whisking continuously, then return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, to thicken the custard until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to overheat the custard or the egg will begin to scramble.
Strain immediately into a mixing bowl, stir for a few minutes and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer the bowl to the fridge until chilled (preferably overnight). Churn the chilled mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions until frozen and store in the freezer.
For the compressed apple terrine, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Mix together the butter and calvados. Line a terrine mould (9 x 9 x 18cm/3½ x 3½ x 7in) with silicone paper. Cover the bottom of the mould with a layer of the sliced apples as neat and tight as you can as this will be the top of the terrine when turned out. Brush over the calvados butter mixture to lightly coat every slice. Repeat with all the apple slices up to the top of the terrine. The apples should sit approximately 1-2cm/½-¾in above the lip of the terrine. Wrap the top of the terrine in a double layer of foil and cook in the oven for 90 minutes.
Remove from the oven, discard the foil and lightly press the apples with the back of a spatula.
Cover the top with the silicone paper and place back in the oven for two hours and 15 minutes until lightly coloured and compressed. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
For the puff pastry, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Roll out the puff pastry to a 4mm thickness and place onto the lined baking tray. Cover with another sheet of greaseproof paper and top with another baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Remove the pastry from the oven, transfer to a wire rack, removing the paper, and allow to cool. Set aside.
For the apple crisps, preheat the oven to its lowest temperature (100C/200F/Gas ¼). Place the apple slices in a large bowl and squeeze over the lemon juice. Reserve.
In a small pan on a high heat, bring 100g/3½oz of water and the sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour this over the apple slices. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Drain the apples slices, lay on a non-stick baking mat and dry in the oven for 2-3 hours, or until completely dry. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
To serve, de-mould the terrine and place onto the prebaked puff pastry. Trim the edges of the pastry around the terrine. Slice the terrine into eight even slices and place onto each of eight plates. Scoop the vanilla ice cream onto each plate and top with an apple crisp. Serve with homemade caramel sauce.
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