Thursday, 21 February 2008

Alchemy Not At Home

In my series of posts 'Alchemy At Home', regular readers will have seen that I've started domestic culinary alchemy experiments with Texturas. A few weeks ago I made rose water caviar and cauliflower espuma and last week it was my take on the classic Catalan combination of chocolate, olive oil and sea salt. I'm currently writing up a photo post about the saffron gel with purée and air of beetroot that I made the other weekend. All three were successful experiments, on the small scale of my apartment kitchen.

Hunting around the internet I've found the real McCoy - production on a commercial restaurant scale by the man who invented the technique. This is Alchemy very definitely NOT at home. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the El Bulli Recipe for apple caviar, as demonstrated to a delighted audience at Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía 2003 in San Sebastian by a member of Ferran Adrià's team.

I should warn you in advance that the lighting conditions were a bit weird, so the apple juice appears to be every colour from its natural brownish-green through pale orange in the syringes at the front to deep red at the back. But the end result looks totally amazing. Enjoy.


Interviewed after the session, Ferran said: "This dish has made me reflect upon the value of creativity... In the past I’ve asked customers what they consider more of a luxury – to eat Beluga caviar or to eat apple caviar for the first time? I believe customers appreciate the value of creativity."

So, want to try it for yourself? Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the Apple Juice:
1¼ pounds golden apples

For the Apple Reduction:
¾ pound Granny Smith apples

For the Calcium Chloride:
2 cups water
½ teaspoon calcium chloride
For the Apple Caviar:
8 ounces apple juice
½ teaspoon Alginato
⅛ teaspoon baking soda

For the garnish:
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and very cold
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅜ teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Preparation (Mis En Place):

For the Apple Juice:
Wash and core apples and cut into quarters. Purée apples and pour liquid into a tall and narrow container. Freeze about 30 minutes so that the impurities solidify and rise to the top. Remove from freezer and extract impurities with a skimmer. Strain juice and reserve.

For the Apple Reduction:
Wash and core apples and cut into quarters. Purée apples and pour liquid into a tall and narrow container. Freeze about 30 minutes to solidify impurities, which will rise to the top. Remove from freezer and extract impurities with a skimmer. Strain juice and place over medium heat until reduced to caramel consistency.

For the Apple Caviar:
While cold, mix ⅓ of juice with Alginato in blender until Alginato has dissolved. Heat mixture to 205°F, then remove from heat and stir in remaining juice. Add baking soda and stir to dissolve. Strain and freeze until service.

For the Calcium Chloride:
Dissolve the calcium chloride in water and reserve.

Service:

Purée Granny Smith apples and freeze in a very tall and narrow container for 5 mins. Fill 4 syringes with apple solution. Release one drop at a time into Calcium Chloride and cook 1 minute in the water. Strain and rinse caviar in cold water bath. Drain and add 2 teaspoons of Apple Caviar. For each serving, put ¾ ounce of caviar in a cylindrical mold, season caviar with a little Apple Reduction, cinnamon and 3 drops vinegar. Seal and serve.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

me likey the direction you are taking your blog...recipes, what you are learning in spain etc...either way I will continue to read. Best. AP


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