Apple Pie Caramel, ‘Edible Wrapper’
Specialty Equipment: petri dishes
Specialty Ingredients: spray-dried apple granules, glucose, malic acid, powdered gelatine 200 Bloom, glycerine
Dish as in The Fat Duck:
The Fat Duck Cookbook contains a number of small dishes, which can be finished in a couple of hours, with maybe some waiting in between starting and finishing a recipe. I always keep them for the moments I curse everyone involved in the book. In the past I’ve pushed on when the feeling of what the hell I’m doing started to boil up, but the problem is I start to rush things, leading only to mistakes and therefore more frustration.
The search for short ribs and the recipe involving cooking them for 3 days was one of those things that drove me a bit nuts, so I made the caramels to remind myself there is light at the end of the tunnel. Service announcement: whining will stop.
Making the caramel is as straightforward as the Fat Duck recipes get. You have to mix spray-dried apple granules with cream and bring it to the boil. In another pan you have to boil sugar, glucose, apple juice, salt, malic acid and butter to 150˚C. When the latter comes to that temperature the former has to be added in three stages. I had some problems with the granules and cream, because the spray-dried apple soaked up all the cream, making it impossible to dissolve the granules in the cream. To make sure it was all well mixed I used a hand-held blender to incorporate the granules/cream mixture in the caramel.
From light to dark, took about fifteen minutes (stir constantly or it will burn).
My introduction to edible wrappers came with the grapefruit lolly. It didn’t go to well. To avoid any problems I followed the instructions to the letter. I hunted down Petri dishes, weighed everything twice and outed a Hail Mary.
Drying the soon to be (hopefully) wrappers.
For a moment I thought I was fucked, because the wrappers are very thin and could easily go unnoticed, even when you’ve just spend some time preparing them. It’s also a bit tricky to get them off the dishes. What worked for me is pulling a long strip off the side, so you have a large area to start with when pulling the wrapper.
Of all the wrapper 50% didn’t come off well, like the one below.
The caramel cut in small blocks. I put the caramel in the fridge to firm up and make them easier to handle.
Wrapping everything up (lame!).
The caramels are a bit like small tarte tatins. Tasty, can’t really say more on them, the wrappers make it something worth serving to others. I think it is safe to say no one would expect homemade edible wrappers (probably edible wrappers in general), so serving them and then watch people unwrapping them is a good practical joke. I did it and found it hilarious. Hm, maybe I have to get out more…