Thursday, November 1, 2012

Caramel Green Apple Ice Crème





I've been developing recipes for the upcoming Mohegan SunWine Fest.  I'm pastry-ing it up for two events:  the Celebrity Chef Dine Around and Bubbles and Bonbons.  I'm determined to represent my beautiful home state as deliciously and honestly as possible.  As it happens, Vermont Creamery sent me new products to test.  I think you've already heard me wax poetic about their Creamery sea salt and maple butter.  I've now taken the plunge into their vanilla bean crème fraîche and I don't know if I'll ever resurface from my obsession with the gloriously flecked, thick and creamy stuff.  It's heaven.  And as Vermont Creamery is an award winning cheese and butter producer AND a Green Mountain native company, what better ingredients to incorporate into my finished pastries?

Close up of the glory that is Vermont Creamery's vanilla bean crème fraîche
I've already finalized one element of my menu, the maple Kouign Amann and I just wanted to top it off with something refreshing and Vermonty.  What better than a caramel green apple vanilla bean creme fraiche ice cream?  And top the lot with homemade maple syrup?  I can't think of a darn thing better.

Caramel Green Apple Ice Crème

INGREDIENTS

For the custard base:

1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup water
7 egg yolks
2 cups Vermont Creamery Vanilla Bean crème fraîche
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the apples:

2 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch squares and tossed in
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter

PROCEDURE

•Combinen the egg yolks, crème fraîche, apple cider and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment.  Whisk until combined.

•In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar has completely melted.  Using a moist pastry brush, brush down the sides of the pan to allow any clinging sugar crystals to melt back into the sugar mixture.  Stop stirring and continue cooking the sugar until it turns a medium-light amber color.  Immediately take from the heat and add the heavy cream.  The mixture will bubble considerable so stand back and all it to calm.  Put the mixture back over low heat and stir to melt any hardened caramel.

Ready for the cream!


•With the mixer running on medium-low speed, add the hot caramel/cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture by pouring down the side of the bowl.  Continue whisking until the the ingredients are well combined.

•Transfer the custard to a large container and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until cold.

•At this point, make sure that the bowl of your ice cream maker is in the freezer.  It's such a bummer when you have a beautiful custard, cooled and ready to rumble in the ice cream maker only to realize you've left the ice cream maker bowl to languish in the cupboard.

•While your custard is cooling, melt the butter and sugar for the apples in a saucepan and add the lemon soaked apples to the saucepan and saute the apples until they are only slightly tender and have released a bit of juice.  Strain the apples and place in a bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Stir the liquid from the sauted apples into the chilling custard.


•Once your custard is cool, make the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions.  I use an attachment to my Kitchen Aid.  Just as the ice cream become soft serve consistency or a little firmer, transfer the ice cream into a large container and stir in the cooled apple cubes.  Cover the container and freeze until firm but not rock hard.


•Serve over Maple Kouign Amann  (or alone) and drizzle with Vermont Maple syrup.