GUIDED BY NOSTALGIA

Instead of starting with a recipe, Mr. Alpenglow’s preferred approach to cooking starts with one core ingredient, followed by the question, “What flavors complement my core ingredient?” The other day it was CARROT → pistachio → mint → pancetta. Before that it was CUTTLEFISH INK PASTA → shrimp → tomatoes → scallions → chili. This process makes room for creativity and inspiration in the cooking process; it also hones one’s taste for what flavor combinations work best. There are entire books devoted to this, and they’re a worthwhile resource, but there’s no school like trial and error. Sometimes, pairing flavors comes easily. Mr. Alpenglow recently made a wonderfully tart Green Apple Sorbet. It was fine on its own but called out for another flavor to set it off — but what? The answer was obvious. In our nostalgia, the flavor of green apple is closely linked to the flavor of caramel. Here is caramel apple, reborn.

IMG_5487

SALTED CARAMEL COOKIES & GREEN APPLE SORBET
“caramel apple sandwich”

for the green apple sorbet adapted from Johnny Iuzinni:
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
7 or 8 Granny Smith apples

Set up an ice bath in a large bowl.

Put the water, corn syrup, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a medium bowl, set into the ice bath, and chill quickly, stirring often.Put the lemon juice in the container that will be catching the apple juice.
Core the apples and put them through a juicer. Skim the foam and pour the juice through a fine strainer into the container with the lemon juice. Measure out 3 1/3 cups and add to the syrup.
Freeze immediately in an ice cream maker. Pack into a plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

for 16-20 salted caramel cookies adapted from Maria:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tspcream of tartar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
 + more for sprinkling
1 cup unsalted butter, sliced
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
 + 1 egg yolk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup small caramel squares
1/4 cup sugar + 2 tbsp ground cinnamon for rolling

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. To brown the butter, heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter until melted. The butter will start to foam and browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. The butter should have a nutty aroma. Watch the butter carefully because it can go from brown to burnt quickly! Remove butter from the heat and let cool to room temperature. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown butter and sugars. Mix until blended and smooth. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Form the dough in a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand and place a piece of caramel in the center of the dough. Wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, making sure the caramel is completely covered with dough. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on a large baking sheet that has been lined with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Make sure the cookies are about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the cookie tops with sea salt. Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. The centers will still be soft. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, or until set. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. Assembly: Once the cookies are firm enough to handle (but still warm and soft), sandwich a scoop of green apple sorbet in between two cookies. If you are serving for a crowd, use a round cookie cutter to form the sorbet discs and freeze them on a sheet of wax paper ahead of time. Just before serving, warm the cookies in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes until they are pliable.

IMG_5471

 

Advertisements

React!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s