This striking dessert recipe from Michael Wignall sings the praises of a too often overlooked British fruit – the bilberry
The vibrancy and flavour of the apple sorbet comes from using apple peelings – but be warned – 300g of apple skins equates to roughly 35 apples, so unless you have a way to get your hands on this quantity of peelings, use a mixture of flesh and peel instead.
For the apple sorbet:
• 300g of apple, skins only
• 200g of sugar
• 50g of glucose
• 500g of water
• 9g of sorbet stabiliser
• 1 lemon, juiced
For the bilberry juice and jelly:
• 1kg bilberries
• 60g of icing sugar
• 2.4g of agar agar
For the meringue:
• 190g of egg white
• 190g of caster sugar
• 150g of icing sugar
For the salted granola:
• 200g of oats
• 100g of pumpkin seeds
• 200g of macadamia nuts
• 50g of pine nuts
• 5g of salt
• 60g of honey
• 20g of maple syrup
For the apple gel:
•6 Granny Smith apples
• agar agar
• 50g of freeze-dried yoghurt
• 100g of bilberries
• 100g of bilberries, dried
• apple marigold, for garnish
1 For the apple sorbet, blitz all of the ingredients together in a blender until smooth and transfer to a Pacojet container. Place in the freezer to freeze solid and blitz in the Pacojet just before serving.
2 Preheat a steam oven to 100°C
3 Mix together the bilberries and sugar. Vacuum seal and steam in the oven for 30 minutes – if your oven doesn’t have a steamer setting a regular steamer will work just as well.
4 Cut open the bag and tip the contents into a sieve set over a measuring jug.
5 Boil 200ml of the juice with the agar agar for 1 minute, pour onto a tray at a thickness of 0.3mm and leave to set in the fridge. Cut out with a 8cm diameter ring and transfer onto baking parchment to store.
6 Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
7 To make the meringues, whisk the egg whites and caster sugar to soft peaks then gradually add the icing sugar. Mix for a further 10 minutes until very stiff then transfer to a piping bag.
8 Line a flat tray with parchment paper and pipe the meringue into domes approximately 6cm in diameter. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour until crispy then leave to cool. Turn the oven up to 170°C/gas mark 4
9 Once cool, turn the meringues upside down and very carefully scoop out the middle so you are left with a basket. Reserve
10 To make the salted granola, bake the dry ingredients together for 10 minutes then mix in the rest of the ingredients and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool then chop into small pieces and reserve.
11 To make the apple gel, juice the apples and weigh the juice. For every 100ml of juice use 1.1g of agar agar, mix together and bring to the boil. Pour into a tray to set and transfer to the fridge. When completely set, blitz in a blender until smooth and pass through a fine sieve.
12 To serve, place a circle of jelly on the bottom of each plate. Scatter over the crumble, bilberries and freeze-dried yoghurt and pipe around dots of the gel. Place a meringue basket on top and fill with more crumble and gel. Add a scoop of apple sorbet and garnish with the apple marigold.
Recipe courtesy of Michael Wignall, originally published for GreatBritishChefs.com