Crème Fraîche Vanilla Sauce

 

I never seem to make sweet sauces and until now I haven’t really missed them. Pudding normally consists of some form of cake or meringue (we are big bakers in my house). However, my girlfriend made a strawberry and champagne terrine and I knew we just had to have something to accompany it.

I wanted something sweet and rich, it was the weekend after all. But it could not overpower the delicate strawberry and champagne. In comes the vanilla crème fraîche sauce – on the edge of sweetness with a strong kick of heady vanilla.

If you have any other suggestions for sweet sauces to enhance my repertoire I would love to hear them!

Vanilla Crème Fraîche Sauce

Makes enough for 4 small servings

Ingredients:

200ml Crème Fraîche

1tbsp Caster Sugar

Seeds from 1 Vanilla Pod

Method:

1) Combine the crème fraîche, sugar and vanilla seeds in a sauce pan.

2) Bring to a simmer, stirring continuously until the sugar is dissolved.

3) Either serve warm or allow to cool.

4) If storing in the fridge, reheat ever so slightly before reserving to increase its viscosity.

Sous Vide Poached Apples

 

Looking for something to pair with pork tenderloin, I stumbled across this recipe in Thomas Keller’s ‘Under Pressure’ book – the gospel on sous vide cooking! The apples are shown in the photo with homegrown swiss chard stems.

This is a fantastic way to poach apples, which will ensure they retain their shape whilst being cooked through and soft. The flavour of the wine really permeates the apple, making them even more delicious! By making the poaching liquor first, you can pop the apple circles in straight away – stopping them from oxidizing without the need for lemon juice.

To vacuum pack liquids in a household vacuum sealer, place the bag of apples and liquor inside another vacuum bag, folding over the top of the first. When vacuum packing, press the manual seal button when the liquid begins to be drawn to the top of the bag.

Once they have been cooked they can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container with their cooking liquor for a few days. I am sure similar results could be achieved by poaching in a pan if you keep a close eye on the heat.

As well as serving with pork, these would make a fantastic addition to cocktails (if you cut the balls a little smaller).

Sous Vide Wine Poached Apples

To Make 15 Medium Balls

Ingredients:

3 Granny Smith Apples

25ml Dry White Wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)

25ml Water

25g Caster Sugar

Method:

1) First make the poaching liquor by bringing the water, wine and sugar to the boil until the sugar has dissolved. Place over an ice bath to ensure it cools completely.

2) Next, cut the top and bottom off the apples and peel. Cut semi-circles or circles (depending on the size of your apples) from the apples with a melon baller. Place these in the poaching liquor.

3) Place the apples and their liquor in a vacuum bag then seal. If using a household non-chamber vacuum sealer, place this bag inside another and vacuum pack, pressing the manual seal button when the liquid begins to be drawn to the top of the bag.

4) Cook at 85C for 30 minutes. Place in an ice bath when cooked to ensure they cool completely (which also helps to maintain their colour).

5) Store the apples in a sealed container in their liquor until ready to use.