Raymond Blanc’s apple croustade

Serves 4




  • For the croustade dough:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 30g plus 1tsp caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 500g strong plain
  • white bread flour
  • 3g fresh yeast, crumbled
  • 2tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 15g clarified butter
  • 4 x 8-10cm tart tins
  • 4 x 14cm non-stick round moulds

For the apple rosace

  • 30g clarified butter
  • ½tsp Calvados (or brandy)
  • 10g caster sugar
  • ½tsp lemon juice
  • 8 Cox’s Orange Pippin apples (about 1.6kg)

For the apple coulis

  • 80g Cox’s Orange Pippin apples, peeled and chopped
  • 80ml water
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • ½tsp vanilla syrup (see below)

Vanilla syrup

  • 6 large vanilla pods, chopped, with hard nib at end removed
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml water


For the vanilla syrup
Dissolve the sugar in the water and boil for 1 minute. Purée together with chopped vanilla pod. Keeps well in a sealed jar in the fridge.

To make the croustade dough, in a bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt and sugar to a foam. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 240ml of warm water (about 50°C/120°F) and stir this into the whites. Put the flour and yeast into the bowl of the electric mixer, with the dough hook fitted, and mix on a low speed, then slowly incorporate the egg mixture.

When the dough starts to come away from the side of the bowl, add a third of the oil and continue mixing until completely absorbed, then add another 20ml warm water and mix for 10 minutes, still on low speed. Add the remaining two-thirds of the oil and mix for 3-4 minutes on medium speed until it is all absorbed. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand into a smooth ball. Divide into 4 portions, wrap each in cling film and refrigerate overnight. The next day, take the croustade dough from the fridge and leave it, still wrapped, in a warm place for 4 hours before shaping.

To shape the croustades, you will need a friend. Cover your work surface with a large, clean cloth and gradually pull and stretch the dough on the cloth with your friend, handling it extremely carefully. Using the minimum of flour and the back of your hands, continue to stretch until the dough is very thin. Using a wide, soft pastry brush, apply a thin coat of clarified butter lightly over the dough and sprinkle evenly with the caster sugar. Cut out 4 x 20cm squares, allow them to dry a little and then invert each one into an individual 8–10cm tart tin. Press into the base and edges of the tin and fold and shape the overhanging pastry decoratively into the tin with your fingers, to create the croustades, giving them height. Leave to dry at room temperature overnight.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Bake the croustades for 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

Next, make the apple rosace. Lower the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas 6. Line the bases of 4 nonstick 14cm moulds with a disc of non-stick baking paper. In a small bowl, mix the clarified butter with the Calvados, sugar and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved. Lightly brush the moulds with the Calvados butter. Peel, core and slice the apples across into fine 2mm slices, using a mandolin if you have one. Place an apple slice in the centre of each mould and fan the remaining apple slices around it, overlapping them tightly in a rosace shape.

Brush the apple slices with the remaining Calvados butter. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes. Once removed from the oven, cover each mould with cling film and leave for 10 minutes or so – the trapped heat will cook the apples.

Put all the ingredients for the apple coulis into a small pan and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 2 minutes. Blitz in a blender for 1 minute, then pass through a sieve into a bowl and leave to cool.

Turn out the rosace onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Place one in the middle of each plate and spoon the apple coulis around it. Top with a croustade and crown with a scoop of ice cream or sorbet.



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