At the very bottom there is a layer of lightly spiced sautéed apples. Then goes strawberry puree, followed by Frangelico-spiked whipped cream and, finally, crispy buttery hazelnut crisp. The recipe, with some of my adaptations, is from the Top Chef cookbook.
The delicious and exceptionally easy to put together, originally served with fresh strawberries, this parfait is a perfect transitional summer-autumn dessert. But since the summer time, as well as good fresh berries, has well passed, I replaced the fresh strawberries with the puree made from the frozen ones (but picked at their most ripe). The dish was great; I think it’s very much appropriate for any season.
And now I want to return to the book mentioned earlier. This book and a Top Chef 7” Japanese style Santoku knife are for you to win. For the fans of the show, the fifth season of the Emmy-award winning series Top Chef DVD has been recently released and it includes extended interviews and some never-before-seen material.
I believe everyone knows the drill. You leave a comment on this post before midnight (PST) December 17th and I will make the draw and ask the winner to e-mail me the postal address for the goodies to ship. Good Luck!
For the hazelnut crisp:
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup+2 tbsp cake flour
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
For the strawberry puree:
- 8 oz defrosted strawberries
- About ½ tbsp fine granulated sugar (optional; if the puree is too sour)
For the sautéed apples:
- 4 tbsp (2 oz) unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/8-inch slices
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
For the hazelnut whipped cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 2 tbsp fine granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp Frangelico liqueur
Make the hazelnut crisp:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Line a 13×18-inch rimless baking sheet with a silicone mat.
Sift the flours, confectioners’ sugar, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter, egg whites, and vanilla and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Applying this method, some tiny pieces of butter are still going to be present in the batter. And it’s OK; it will produce a super-crisp cookie with almost honey comb-like surface.
Using an offset spatula, spread the paste evenly and very thinly over the entire surface of the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the hazelnuts evenly over the paste.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden brown (the crisp will be darker at the edges; do not let it burn). Transfer the crisp on the baking sheet to a cooling rack and cool completely. Break into roughly shaped pieces. Set aside.
Make the strawberry puree:
In a blender or food processor, puree the berries until smooth. Transfer to a bowl (no need to strain) and add a bit of fine granulated sugar (about ½ tbsp should suffice) if the puree seems too sour. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Refrigerate until serving.
Sautee the apples:
Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over the medium-high heat. Add the sugar. Cook until a grainy sauce forms, about 1 minute. Add the apples. Sprinkle the orange juice, spices, and salt and cook until the apples are tender, translucent and the sauce is thickened, about 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Cool until slightly warm.
Whip the cream:
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip the cream with the sugar until it starts thickening, then add the liqueur and whip until soft peaks form.
Assemble the dessert:
Divide the apples among 4 dessert dishes. Top with the strawberry puree and a generous dollop of whipped cream. Stick the hazelnut crisp into the top and serve immediately.
January 6, 2010 at 5:09 am
Thank you for the great post. I really love this tv show. Can’t wait for the another season ! Keep up the good work with this :)
December 30, 2009 at 5:27 am
what a killer recipe…love it!! looks super delicious!! :)
December 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm
Thank you, everyone, for participation and the kind comments! I’ll announce the winner in a moment in my next post.
Goldnsilver, sorry I didn’t answer earlier (crazy pre-holiday time). Originally, there were only 2 apples for 4 servings. It was not even enough to fill the glasses without any fresh strawberry chunks, so, I doubled the amount. The crisp, on the other hand, were made of 6 egg whites on 2 large baking sheets. I found that 3 egg white batch baked on one 13×18 pan produces a slab of crisp more than enough for 4 servings. The same is applied to the whipping cream. I didn’t need to whip 1 pint of cream to feed 4 persons. I also made some minor adjustments to the cooking method (just a matter of habit; nothing personal).
Adelina, sure you can use brandy instead, if you wish.
December 17, 2009 at 7:24 pm
Looks divine! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
December 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm
mmmmm hazelnut crisp
December 16, 2009 at 9:28 pm
Whipped cream, good
Really sharp new knife…great!!
December 16, 2009 at 10:54 am
Can I use Brandy in place of the Frangelico liquer?
Hazelnut crisp is an interesting take and a unique combo for this dessert! Very creative!
December 16, 2009 at 9:42 am
So sorry I haven’t been by recently – life sort of got away from me. But I’m back in Blogland now, and I’m so glad to stop in here to find this DELECTABLE concoction waiting for me! Gosh this sounds divine.
Thanks for sharing it with us…
Lots of Holiday cheer to you and yours,
December 15, 2009 at 10:32 pm
WOW! it looks so delish! Never seen Top Chef though, but this sure tells me that I am missing something!! :)
December 15, 2009 at 10:02 pm
this looks absolutely delicious!
December 15, 2009 at 6:38 pm
Love Love Love Top Chef and that looks so yummy!
December 15, 2009 at 6:31 pm
I love crisps. Your presentation is very interesting.
December 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm
Looks beautiful, and I´m sure it tastes even better.
Love Top Chef, too bad it doesn´t air here in Central America…
December 15, 2009 at 1:25 pm
This looks like a fantastic recipe. I will definitely give it a try.
December 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm
I love the layered look. It makes any combination look so elegant.
December 15, 2009 at 11:57 am
The dessert looks amazing! Love those layers!
December 15, 2009 at 11:20 am
Love the look of this! And the twist on the “crisp.”
December 15, 2009 at 11:19 am
Such a masterpiece. This dessert looks too beautiful to be eaten!
December 15, 2009 at 11:11 am
deeeelish! thank you for sharing!
December 15, 2009 at 8:38 am
Love this! Used it for a gathering on Sunday evening and it was a huge hit.
December 15, 2009 at 6:57 am
This dessert looks great and even a little easy.
December 14, 2009 at 5:41 pm
I love your blog! And I love Top Chef! Amazingly talented people!
December 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm
I’d love to win!
December 14, 2009 at 4:08 pm
Can’t wait to try this!
December 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm
Oh my goodness that looks delicious. I have always wanted to try some of the Top Chef food.
December 14, 2009 at 11:56 am
I love fruity desserts! Yours is so lovely!
December 14, 2009 at 10:12 am
…and that’s another recipe of yours that goes to my “to try when back home” list. Can’t wait, as it looks totally delicious
December 14, 2009 at 9:59 am
Oh I am totally making this Christmas Eve!! By the way I make your Gougeres all the time now and they are always a big hit!!!
December 14, 2009 at 9:41 am
This looks absolutely sinful!! I’m going to try this soon, for sure!!
December 14, 2009 at 4:21 am
wow it looks beautiful. i love top chef but it never airs in Malaysia so i have to watch it over the internet. thanks for sharing the recipe and hosting the giveaway :)
December 13, 2009 at 10:03 pm
This dessert looks yummy and I can convince myself it’s vaguely healthy…
December 13, 2009 at 9:11 pm
That dessert looks great, Vera. Since I can’t eat hazelnuts, I’m thinking the crisp would work just as well with almonds.
Also, I would love to win the book and the santoku knife. Thanks for doing the give-away.
December 13, 2009 at 8:46 pm
It never occurred to me to get top chef on DVD for extras, I’d love to do that for a couple seasons! Also those are awesome glasses you used for the recipe, it looks great. Thank you for the giveaway, we got a santuko knife for a wedding gift and my husband immediately put it in the dishwasher and that was the end of owning a sharp knife as well as the end of him being allowed to touch anything in the kitchen!
December 13, 2009 at 7:53 pm
Mmmmm I love that apple-strawberry combo, and hazelnuts are the best!
December 13, 2009 at 7:48 pm
I would love to win this! yummy looking dessert!
December 13, 2009 at 7:46 pm
What a beautiful dessert. The flavors sound so yummy!
December 13, 2009 at 5:07 pm
What a great give-away and will come in really useful to the winner! By the way this strawberry crisp looks really good as a closing dessert for a dinner party.
December 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm
Never tried such combination of fruits, looks delicious.
Thanks for a great giveaway
December 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm
I love sauted apples! I like to make them with brown sugar and caramelise them on a low heat over some time and serve this hot with a rich vanilla ice cream. Nirvana!
December 13, 2009 at 11:34 am
yum this looks deeellicious!
December 13, 2009 at 11:25 am
Lovely recipe.Fruit based desserts are always a hit with me! I would love to win the prize.
December 13, 2009 at 11:14 am
This looks amazing!! I love the layers.
December 13, 2009 at 10:13 am
Lovely dessert, as usual…
I love the series but it doesn’t air in Argentina so I download the chapters one by one.. quite a job!
Thanks for the chance!
December 13, 2009 at 8:46 am
We are big Top Chef fans. I could certainly use a good knife. thanks for the wonderful giveaway.
December 13, 2009 at 6:52 am
my favorite too nom nom
December 12, 2009 at 11:15 pm
Nom nom nom. Big fan of parfait since I realized how good they can be with good ingredients. I recently had a really good one with hazelnut daquoise, poached pear and marscapone cream. mmm
December 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm
I LOVE Top Chef – it is my favorite TV Show, I would love to win the cookbook – the recipe looks great!
December 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm
Yummy looking dessert!
December 12, 2009 at 6:42 pm
December 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm
Great giveaway- Top Chef is #1