Apple Snow, Warm Honey Madeleine
Autumn has finally settled in and our resident cherry tree has turned the most delicious shades of yellow, orange and copper. I watched autumn taking hold of this tree and in a matter of two days it turned colour over night and the leaves have dropped in a wink. The oak tree at the back is still hanging onto its leaves but slowly it’s producing a lot of raking for Mr.P, our own jack of all trades. He’s really meant to be cooking but is to be found to be doing almost everything, you might even find him with the loo brush in one hand, the feather duster in the other, and on the odd occasion he’s got hold of the rake to gather up leaves!
We have been fortunate enough this season to have been inundated with the most glorious varieties of apples from our lovely customers. It’s great, they come in spits and spades over the season, from Lottie Lin’s apples early in the season to Mrs. Sangster’s crop in the middle, and the most recent delivery came from Charlie, Darcy and Hector’s vet’s parent’s garden all the way from Kent. They are all different varieties – some local Suffolk varieties and some the more mainstream bramleys. We don’t mind as it’s an apple taste sensation and educates us, giving us the inspiration and ultimate cooking pleasure and we long for.
I have been toying with the idea of making apple snow for quite some time now. It’s a traditional recipe, one that is very simplistic however the quality of the apple is what makes this recipe a taste sensation. Choose your apple carefully, remember the apple must be the hero - I recommend a fairly acidic apple as the “snow” is sweet, adjust the sugar levels to compliment your choice of apple’s natural sweetness.
The warm honey madeleine is a delicate but lovely touch to set this pudding off nicely. I love a madeleine, I think it’s the rich nutty flavour from the burnt butter along with almonds, honey and lemon that makes me go all googly eyed over these little cakes. I do refer to them as mini me, and while I do not think the world could cope with more than one Madalene, a freshly baked honey madeleine is a different matter all together.
They are simple and easy to make however do not make them if you are in a rush! The secret to the success of a perfect madeleine is that it must rest at least 12 hours. If you try and fast track this process you’re in for a disaster. This recipe is the proven practice and is the definition of patience as a virtue! To make a madeleine into a true madeleine not only involves the preparation of the batter, but it’s all about the all important shell shape. You can get different sizes, please note that I have used a standard size, for mini madeleines reduce the cooking time accordingly. The perfect cooked madeleine has a crisp, even, golden brown exterior with a fluffy fine crumbed interior. They are best eaten from freshly baked. I make the batter and cook them fresh every day for the best results here at the restaurant.
- 500g Apples (variety of your choice), peeled and 1cm diced
- 20g unsalted butter
- 40g honey
- 50ml Cognac or apple brandy
- 200ml fresh apple juice
- 200g fresh free range egg whites
- 200g sugar
- 150ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds removed
Heat a medium non-stick frying pan with the butter, once it starts to foam add the apples and honey, sauté until transparent and slightly coloured.
Deglaze the pan with the cognac, cook until absorbed, add the apple juice, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the apples are softened but haven’t lost their shape completely; the mixture needs to still be a bit soft and wet, not entirely dry. Cool completely; prepare this one day in advance.
Spoon a few tablespoons of the apple compote into the bottom of your chosen serving glasses, set aside.
Heat the egg white and sugar till 37°C, stir to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to a mixer and whip the whites to a glossy meringue. In a seperate bowl whip the cream with the vanilla seeds till soft ribbon stage.
In a large mixing bowl fold the meringue, 6 tablespoons of apple compote and the cream together.
Spoon this into the glasses, use a blowtorch to colour the top and serve immediately with the warm freshly baked honey madeleine's.
Warm Honey Madeleine
- 250g unsalted butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 80g ground almonds
- 80g plain flour
- 4 free range egg whites
- 30g local honey
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt
Turn the butter to burre noisette: Melt the butter in a small saucepan, stir occasionally, once it starts to foam reduce the heat and stir, continue cooking until the solids start to turn nutty brown, remove form the heat once it's all golden brown but not charcoal black, stir in the honey and lemon juice, cool completely.
Sift the icing sugar, almonds and flour into a medium mixing bowl.
Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peak.
Stir the burre noisette and lemon zest into the sifted flour mix, fold the egg whites into the mixture, transfer to the fridge for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease the madeleine moulds and dust lightly with flour, spoon the rested mixture into the prepared moulds and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Remember they require a crisp even golden brown exterior, do not be tempted to undercook them it's not very nice.
Serves 10 - 12