Parsnip Crisp with Apple-Parsnip Mousse and Apple Caramel

Ingredients (18)

For the parsnips:

  • 2 large parsnips
  • sunflower oil for frying

For the apple and parsnip mousse:

  • 5 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon cream
  • 1/2 sheet gold leaf gelatine
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon fine granulated sugar
  • 5 teaspoons water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons apple purée
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons parsnip purée
  • pinch of freeze-dried apple powder
  • salt, to taste

For the apple and chamomile infusion:

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried chamomile flowers
  • 4 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled

For the apple caramel:

  • 4 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
  • 2 cups apple and chamomile infusion

To serve:

  • 5 freeze-dried apple quarters, 3 of them cut into 12 pieces total and the remaining 2 quarters left whole for grating
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Parsnip Crisp with Apple-Parsnip Mousse and Apple Caramel

Parsnips and apples have a great affinity for each other, and this stunning recipe from chef Dan Hunter’s Brae cookbook combines them in ways you’ve likely never experienced before. A creamy parsnip-apple mousse anchors a crisp parsnip skin rolled into a golden cone, and everything is garnished with a gorgeously dark apple caramel (infused with a wisp of chamomile), as well as freeze-dried apples both finely grated and cut into chewy chunks. A symphony of textures and gentle sweet-tart flavors, this is a real show-stopper. Naturally, it does take a bit more effort than your standard dessert, but give this a try if you’re feeling ambitious.

The gold leaf gelatine called for in this recipe doesn’t refer to anything gilded —instead, “gold” refers to the degree of firmness with which the gelatine will set, and “leaf gelatine” is the form generally preferred by pastry chefs, as it sets clearer and with a smoother consistency than powdered gelatine. Leaf gelatine also does not impart any additional flavor, but allows the other ingredients to come through cleanly.

Take your parsnips in a more savory direction with our Honey-Mustard Parsnips recipe, or our Potato and Parsnip Mash recipe.

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by Dan Hunter

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Tips for Eggs


For the parsnips:
  1. 1Preheat the oven to 285 degrees.
  2. 2Wrap the parsnips in aluminum foil and bake for 3 hours. Once cool, cut through the skin on 1 side of each parsnip, then remove the core and all the flesh, ensuring the skin remains intact as one piece. Carefully scrape any remaining flesh from the skin. Discard the core and flesh. Slice each skin lengthwise so there are 2 equal halves (4 pieces total) and leave the skins to dry a little.
  3. 3Once semi-dried, fry the skins in sunflower oil until a golden “pastry” color is achieved. While the skins are still hot, shape them into their original cone shape and place on paper towels to cool. The finished crisp skins will appears as though they are parsnips that have been hollowed out. Keep in a cool, dry place until ready to use.

For the apple and parsnip mousse:

  1. 1In a stand mixer, whisk the cream to soft peaks. Reserve in a cool place.
  2. 2Soak the gelatine in cold water and, once hydrated, remove it, squeezing out the excess moisture. Set aside.
  3. 3Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and place over medium heat. While the sugar syrup is warming, put the egg yolks in the stand mixer and begin to beat on medium speed. Meanwhile, heat the syrup to 248 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the heat, and add the reserved gelatine. Once the gelatine is dissolved, reduce the stand mixer speed slightly and drizzle the sugar syrup between the beater and the side of the bowl, taking care not to hit the beater, so the sugar syrup is mixed with the egg yolks. Once all the sugar syrup is incorporated, increase the stand mixer speed to maximum and beat the eggs until they are shiny, have increased 6 to 8 times in volume, have cooled to room temperature, and are almost white. Placing a bowl of ice water underneath the mixing bowl will help bring the temperature of the meringue down quickly.
  4. 4Fold in the apple and parsnip purées and freeze-dried apple powder, and a little of the reserved whipped cream. When combined well, fold in the rest of the whipped cream until the mixture is homogeneous. Place the mousse into a pastry bag and reserve, refrigerated, until needed.

For the apple and chamomile infusion:

  1. 1Bring the water to a boil and pour over the dried chamomile flowers. Cover immediately and leave to infuse for 6 minutes. Strain and discard the chamomile, and combine the infusion with the sugar and apples.
  2. 2Place these ingredients in a vacuum pack and seal on maximum pressure. Cook at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes. Strain and discard the apples. Season with salt and chill the infusion immediately. Store, covered and refrigerated, until needed.

For the apple caramel:

  1. 1Caramelize the sugar in a wide-bottomed pan, cooking it to a deep, dark golden color. Deglaze the pan with 2 cups of the apple and chamomile infusion and let reduce to a thick caramel. Store, covered, at room temperature.

To serve:

  1. 1On each plate, pipe about 10 centimeters of mousse in a straight line and drizzle caramel over and around the mousse. Place 4 freeze-dried apple pieces per plate around the mousse and then lay a piece of parsnip skin over the top so the mousse is hidden underneath. Using a Microplane, grate one half of a piece of the two freeze-dried apple quarters over the parsnip skin on each plate and serve.
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