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West Street Grill Apple Parfait With Blackberry Coulis
2 lbs. tart-sweet, firm apples such as Empire, peeled, cored and
1/2 C. white wine, such as dry Chardonnay
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. plus 2 T. superfine sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3 T. Calvados or applejack
3 egg yolks (preferably free-range organic)
3/4 C. heavy cream, chilled
4 tiny sprigs of mint, for garnish
1 to 1 1/2 pints whole blackberries, for garnish
1 C. whipped cream, for garnish
1 t. vanilla sugar, for garnish (see note)
1/2 pint blackberries, pureed and passed through a fine sieve
Place apples, wine, water, cup of superfine sugar and vanilla bean in a stainless steel saucepan. Cook gently until apple mixture is thick and most of the liquid has evaporated, up to 30 minutes. Remove vanilla bean and scrape seeds into the apple mixture. Puree the mixture in a food processor and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Allow to cool. Add the Calvados or applejack and refrigerate until quite cold.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 2 tablespoons superfine sugar until pale and thick and doubled in volume. In a chilled bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold the apple puree into the egg mixture; fold in the whipped cream.
Line a small loaf pan (1 pound size) with plastic wrap (allow enough extra to hang over sides and cover top). Pour in the apple parfait mixture. Tap the pan gently and level it off. Cover with wrap; freeze until firm, or overnight.
At serving time: allow apple parfait to thaw a little, 10 minutes or less, at room temperature (it then has a textured feel and is best served right away). Unwrap, trim ends and smooth off the top. Cut 2 inch slices per person and place, slightly overlapping, in the center of a large dessert plate, preferably white. Surround the parfait with blackberries. Dust with a tiny amount of confectioners' sugar. Drizzle blackberry puree (Blackberry Coulis) around the plate. Top with whipped cream, garnished with a sprinkling of vanilla sugar and a sprig of mint.
Note: To make vanilla sugar, slit a vanilla bean and keep in a closed jar of superfine sugar for the sugar to absorb the aroma.
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