Autumn Apples

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Serves

    4

    : You will Need to Begin this Recipe 1 Day Ahead

Appears in

Origin

By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

  • About

I like to create dishes that are a pure expression of their ingredients — dishes that make you sit up and pay attention. For me, that’s the ultimate respect I can pay the farmer and the core ingredient.

As a young boy I would listen to my late grandmother Lois complain of the lack of flavour and texture in store-bought apples and I never really completely understood what she meant until in 2010 we started to buy our apples from a small, very old orchard in Melbourne. This ancient orchard is a throwback to the past when apples tasted of apples and their season was six weeks not twelve months. It used to be surrounded by other orchards, but sadly one by one they were sold off, the trees ripped from the earth to be replaced by subdivisions until this little old orchard was the last one standing, surrounded only by houses.

Now in our grounds at Rippon Lea Estate, we have access to 150 varieties of heritage apples and when they‘re in season, we pick a different variety each day. They first come in late December and last until March.

Stewart’s Seedling is a heritage variety of apple that originated in Mr Stewart’s garden in Ballarat, Victoria, in the 1870s. It has an incredible depth of flavour — one that modern commercially grown varieties can only dream of having. The discovery of this apple and several other old varieties was one of the most inspiring things to happen to me in that year, but at the same time it made me feel very sad. I wished I could have shared the experience with Lois. So, in a way, this dish is an homage to her, to her love and understanding of ingredients. She was the most passionate food person I’ve ever known.

To Finish

  • 20 g (¾ oz) Turkish apple tea powder (see Note)
  • 10 g ( oz) freeze-dried apple pieces*
  • 16 apple blossom flowers, to serve

Place 5 small teaspoons of apple cream on each plate. Drain the compressed apple and place 2 pieces of apple on top of each spoon of cream. Place a teaspoon of thickened avocado oil between the apple pieces. Dress the compressed apple with the apple distillation. Sprinkle each plate with the apple tea powder.

Break the candied leaves into a few pieces and lay on a baking tray. Using a Microplane*, finely grate a small coating of freeze-dried apple over the leaves. Place the apple-dusted leaves and the flowers on the plates.

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