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Apple cream, John Barry and Valentine's day

>> Thursday, February 10, 2011

Apple cream 1

I have a nasty cold. I am a wreck. And I do feel that way. This has not prevented me from feeling an urgent desire to make a dessert with apples though, being them one of my many addictions. I've said it before, inspiration is a very peculiar animal and comes whenever she wants to, not when it is convenient for you. Serves no programs or schedules. Just like death. That is why John Barry died on January 31st, the composer of such famous film scores as Out of Africa and well-known arranger of the original James Bond theme, when it was completely untimely for him to die... Any movie fan knows his music. He was also British and, as some say, that's a plus. Among his not so well-known compositions is the evocative soundtrack to the movie Robin and Marian, an utterly romantic movie with Sean Connery (sigh...) and Audrey Hepburn (another sigh...). Yes, the quintessential love story. I recommend you watch it, you will not regret it now that honeyed Valentine's day is on its way. Because the movie is not cloying in any way, it shows us the reunion of Marian and Robin Hood after his return from the Crusades, both middle-aged and already-done-it-all. But that does not prevent... sparks from flying between them. Delightful. Wonderful. Sublime. Totally underrated. And another excuse to enjoy the voice of Sir Sean Connery... a religious experience (although I might be thinking of something more profane). This is your homework for this cloying, sugary week. No complaining. Search for this movie and watch it, little children. And if you like it, you can watch it on every Valentine's day with your partner from now on. Though I don't wait till Valentine's day to celebrate.

You may wonder what is the relationship of the apple cream with everything that I mentioned earlier. Well, in the opening scene of the movie we see some fresh apples on a window sill that are displayed later rottening as a symbol of a world that is falling apart, Robin and Marian's. Okay, the relationship is difuse. But the ways of the subconscious are mysterious. And mine is even more mysterious, I tell you. Do not wish to know further. Also, I write my own scripts, just like Pedro Almodóvar. And that is obvious for both.

The recipe for this rather symbolic cream comes from an interesting monograph on reinette apples by a Spanish chef, famously cultivated among other regions in the north Castilian area of El Bierzo. Reinette apples are known for their tart and peculiar taste, the best for cooking desserts. Though who knows where the apples I find in my area come from. Maybe they are brought from the other side of the world, where the growers get a ridiculous revenue from them and then loads of fuel are wasted in bringing them here so that the oil companies are very happy... thanks to us. But that's another story. To the point:

Apple cream

  • 4 large tart cooking apples
  • 1 bottle natural cider (0,75 liters)
  • 200g sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
Apple cream 2
  1. Put the cider in a saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to a boil.
  2. Peel and core the apples, cut them in chunks and add to the cider. Process everything to a runny puree.
  3. Boil the mixture to a compote consistency, about 10-15 minutes. The puree must be somewhat thick, although it will thicken further with the addition of the yolks.
  4. Once you have the required consistency, turn off the heat and add the yolks while stirring vigorously for the egg yolks to mix and set without forming threads. Leave to cool.
Apple cream 3

This simple cream is as versatile as pastry cream, because it is really quite similar. I like it well in small pots, but it can be used to fill cakes, pastries and whatever you can think of. Although to make it as pot de creme, I use a more fluid consistency than that of pastry cream, as a smooth cream for the sick... It has the pleasant color of coffee with milk, but it surprises you with the taste of apple and cider. And I've added one teaspoon of sugar on top of the cream that was conveniently caramelized with my brand new blowtorch, a gentle gift from my mother, in a créme brulée fashion.

Apple cream 4

And... celebrate your love everyday, not only when the department stores tell you to.

Firma 200px

20 comentarios:

Belinda @zomppa February 10, 2011 at 2:36 PM  

This would be welcome at my breakfast table. Another reason why I like you - I heart Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn. HEART!

Jennifurla February 10, 2011 at 9:38 PM  

This is so special.

dixiedevil February 11, 2011 at 6:50 AM  

This sounds fantastically yummy and simple. And who doesn't love Sean Connery or Audrey Hepburn, I could listen to him all day *swoon* I will have to check out that movie.

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi February 11, 2011 at 8:24 AM  

Really Nice...!

Melody Fury - February 11, 2011 at 8:24 PM  

I'd love some with fluffy waffles! gorgeous!

Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris February 12, 2011 at 11:11 AM  

Thank you for letting me know John Barry!!! Actually, I loved his music without knowing his name!!! I have lost litres of water in tears watching Out of Africa ten times !!!
I love your versatile apple cream too !!!!

Maria February 13, 2011 at 3:22 AM  

That looks gorgeous! Nicely done!

Claudie February 13, 2011 at 7:06 AM  

Looks beautiful!

Gio February 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM  

love that apple cream!
will do it as soon as I can, for sure! :)

Johanna February 14, 2011 at 1:03 PM  

hmmm, have been toying with the idea of getting myself a kitchen torch and I think this has just convinced me!

Trix February 14, 2011 at 2:23 PM  

You are part food blogger, and part philosopher. I love it! Never boring. I have always adored Audrey Hepburn, but not seen this film believe it or not. (And a beautiful dish, as always.)

Jonny February 14, 2011 at 11:40 PM  

Miriam - I am (as always) very impressed. Not only did you manage to blow-torch the top perfectly but take a picture of it at the same time! That takes talent - and daring! I'm a great lover of John Barry's music too. In fact, only last month I found a recording of his from the 1950s in which he plays classical guitar pieces. I think my favorite of his themes is from UK TV show (starring a very young Roger Moore) The Persuaders. It's a great theme plus it offers a lovely kind of reflexivity with Moore going on to be James Bond, for which, as you say, Barry also wrote the theme.

Cristina February 15, 2011 at 7:41 PM  

Miriam: What a great post. I luved your intro and last sentence about celebrating your love everyday...

I grew up listening to John Barry music. My parents had many of his albums, and now they're mine - although I don't have a record player. Many of my treasured John Barry's can't even be found on CD anymore. I've even looked for some titles in European markets. Now about this movie with Sean and Audrey...I've never seen or heard of it and I'm an avid fan of both!!! I'm looking on Netflix ASAP.

I luv these apple creams you've shared. They look so delicate in those adorable jars (where to find those jars?) and the perfect serving of something so deliciate. I'd luv to try it.

Anonymous February 15, 2011 at 10:16 PM  


I love your blog and pictures! This is one of my favorite blogs.. <3 What camera do you use to take your pictures? They look so alive...


Miriam February 16, 2011 at 9:35 AM  

Belinda: xoxo!
Jenni: thanks!
Dixiedevil: yes, swoon...
Pranavam: thanks!
Mel: thanks!
Cristina: yes, those flights over the sabana...
Maria: thanks!
Claudie: thanks!
Gio: hope you like it!
Johanna: it's a great... toy, yes ;)
Trix: you'll never know how much it means to me not to be boring... I mean it!
Jonny: The Persuaders! I used to watch it when I was a kid... I loved Tony Curtis...
Cristina: so we agree about everything, don't we? ;)
Zelia: thanks a lot for visiting! My camera is a Nikon D70s, which is rather "old" already, but it's indeed and excellent tool. But what I really love is using the post processing programs to "develop" the images and bring out everything that's inside of them.

Miriam February 16, 2011 at 3:41 PM  

Cristina! I forgot to tell you that the little jars come with a Spanish brand of yoghourt... I have thousands of them, maybe I could send you some ;)

Junglefrog February 17, 2011 at 2:32 PM  

Ooo that looks so lovely! And hope you feel better now (really, is it starting to snow over there?? I am in need of spring!) I love the photo where the flame of the burner is showing. Great shot!

lisa is cooking February 17, 2011 at 4:22 PM  

The bruleed top looks so great, and the apple flavor sounds delicious!

Dinners and Dreams February 19, 2011 at 2:12 AM  

Only four ingredients to create such a decadent dessert!Brilliant!!

Hope you're doing well, Miriam!


tasteofbeirut February 19, 2011 at 6:59 AM  

Hope you feel better! I drink sage tea for this and even though it tastes nasty it helps with the symptoms; love your apple dessert, what an interesting way to cook it in cider,love it!


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