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Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

Apples lend their natural sweetness to this autumnal gastrique.

This variation of a gastrique is balanced by the vinegary tang of the cabbage braising liquid. After we remove the sugared apple rings to use as a garnish, the braising liquid loosens and lifts all the sweet caramelized bits that are stuck to the pan. As the sauce cooks down, the earthy flavors from the cabbage come together with the flavors of the apples. Shallots bring a kick of oniony pungency, which is balanced by the richness of the butter that finishes the dish.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Dredge lightly. Apples have enough sugar to caramelize on their own, so just give them a light coating of superfine sugar to create a caramel base for the gastrique.
  2. The secret’s in the sauce. The key to a delicious gastrique is starting with a good base. We get that by starting with the earthy and tangy cabbage braising liquid.
  3. Taste as you go. By the time you reduce the gastrique to a saucy consistency, it should be balanced in flavor. Adding butter brings richness to balance the sauce’s sweetness, spice and tart acidity.

Toolbox

These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Whisk. This wire utensil isn’t just for beating eggs – it also comes in handy to stir the gastrique while scraping all the caramelized bits off the bottom of the pan.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Sheet pan with paper towels

Small sheet pan
Medium sauté pan

Small offset spatula

Small sheet pan with rack

Whisk


Ingredients
  • Apple rings reserved from Parsnip-Apple Purée
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, ½ inch cubes
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • Reserved apple rounds (from Parsnip-Apple Purée)
  • Reserved cabbage braising liquid (from Parsnip-Apple Purée)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Non-stick spray

Serves: 4

Total Time: 20 minutes

Active Time: 15 minutes

Method
  1. Pull apple rings from water (reserved from the Parsnip-Apple Purée) and place on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
  2. Spray a wire roasting rack or cooling rack with cooking spray and place over a sheet pan. (You’ll be placing the very sticky caramelized apples here once they’re cooked.)
  3. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil.
  4. Place sugar on small sheet pan or plate. Dredge apple rings in the sugar and add them to the melted butter. The apples will cook quickly. Flip them as soon as you get a deep caramel color, and then caramelize the second side. If they’re cooking too fast, turn down the heat a touch.
  5. Transfer the apple slices to the prepared rack. Add the reserved cabbage braising liquid to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan with a whisk to pick up the caramelized bits. Bring to a boil and add the shallots. Gently boil the sauce, reducing it by half. Transfer the apple slices to the prepared rack. Discard the remaining grapeseed oil.
  6. Turn off the heat. Add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Sweet & sour pork

Make sweet and sour pork by finely slicing raw pork loin and browning it in a hot pan. Deglaze with a little stock and add to the apple gastrique. We love to serve this with a roasted cauliflower – toss with grapeseed oil and season with salt and a touch of mustard powder and roast at 450°F until golden brown.

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