Apple Tart Tatin and Smoked Milk Ice Cream
For the poached apples
600g apple juice
20g black tea leaves
500g unrefined caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, diced
15g cardamom, crushed
4 cinnamon sticks
2 lemons, zest peeled using a vegetable peeler
1 orange, zest peeled using a vegetable peeler
40g runny honey
20g mint, leaves picked
6 Granny Smith apples
For the tarte tatin
150g unrefined caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, diced
reserved poached apples
600g all-butter puff pastry
ground cinnamon, to taste
ground cardamom, to taste
For the smoked milk ice-cream
120g skimmed milk powder
60g white caster sugar
800g while milk
400g whipping cream
15g cherry wood chips
To poach the apples, bring 500g of the apple juice to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add the tea leaves and allow to brew for 3 minutes. Remove and discard the leaves. The apple juice may have evaporated when brought to the boil, so measure the apple juice and top up with additional apple juice to yield 500g again. Place the sugar in a deep saucepan over medium heat to make a dry caramel. Once the caramel darkens, add the butter and mix until well combined.
Carefully add the apple juice to the caramel and stir thoroughly to ensure any hardened caramel melts. In the meantime, in a separate hot pan, toast the crushed cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks and the cloves until fragrant. Add the apple caramel, the lemon and orange zest peelings and the runny honey. Reduce the heat to medium-low and bring to a gentle simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the mint leaves and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain the mixture, discarding the spices and reserve the liquid. Peel and core the apples. Place the liquid back into a pan over medium heat. Add the apples to the liquid and poach until they are soft to the touch but still firm. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the apples to cool in the liquid completely. Remove the apples from the poaching liquid and place them upright on a board, discarding the liquid. Using a sharp knife, cut the apples in half, widthways. Reserve in the fridge.
For the tarte tatin, place the sugar into a straight-sided ovenproof frying pan (approximately 21cm in diameter) and place over medium-low heat. Allow the sugar to begin caramelizing but do not stir until most of it has turned to liquid, then mix in any undissolved sugar with a spatula. Add the butter until well combined, then allow to cool slightly.
Arrange the half apples, cut side up, around the pan, packing them as tightly as possible. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Pre-heat both burners on high on the Force BBQ on high with a pizza stone above one of the burners.
In the meantime, roll the puff pastry into a circle between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 4mm and about 3cm larger than the diameter of the pan. Roll the pastry approximately 2cm in – this will give a nice crispy edge. Place the puff pastry, rolled-edge-side up, on top of the apples, making sure to tuck the pastry down the edges inside the pan.
Open the lid of the BBQ so some heat escapes and the temperature drops slightly in the barbecue. Place the tatin pan over the pizza stone – the temperature of the BBQ at this stage should be approximately 225°C. Turn the burner with the pizza stone to medium heat and turn off the other burner. Bake the tatin for 30 mins or until the pastry is golden, all the while maintaining the temperature, which should not drop below 200°C and not increase above 250°C.
Remove the tatin from the BBQ and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes – this will allow the caramel to thicken, making it easier to turn. Place a plate that is just larger than the diameter of the pan on top of the tatin and turn the pan upside down, being careful of the hot caramel that may spill out. Remove the pan and allow the tatin to sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle a little bit of ground cinnamon and ground cardamom on top, to taste.
Make the ice-cream base by combining the skimmed milk powder, dextrose and caster sugar in a bowl. Set aside. In a pan, combine the whole milk and whipping cream and over a medium heat mix, bring it to 45°C. Once it reaches that temperature, add the reserved milk powder/sugar mixture and mix in well, heating the mixture to 85°C. Remove from the heat and cool it over a bowl of iced water and allow to cool completely.
To smoke the ice cream base, turn one side of the BBQ on full heat. Put the smoke chips onto a piece of tin foil and place on the hot side of the BBQ and heat until they begin to smoke. Once you see a steady stream of smoke being released from the chips, place the pan of ice cream mix onto the cold side of the grill as far away from the heat source as possible. Close the lid to trap the smoke and smoke for 10 to 15 minutes, maintaining a gentle flow of smoke from the back of the barbecue.
Using an ice-cream maker, follow the manufacturer instructions to churn the ice-cream and store in the freezer until needed. Serve with the tarte tatin.