About 15 years ago my catering college decided to enter a competition about running a business in your college. I decided then to enter the team that was created around that project. A couple of hours after our first briefing I had to attend an English lesson. I quickly got bored listening to my English teacher talking to us about irregular verbs and wandered away thinking about what would become Avalig which means ‘little apple’ in Breton.
The whole idea was to incorporate all the local produces into one dish. They were apples, cider, apple brandy and buckwheat. It came to this.
For 10 people you will need :
- 200g Buckwheat flour.
- 50g Sugar.
- 1 tea spoon Baking powder.
- 3 Eggs.
- 1/2 pint of Cider.
- 10 large cooking Apples.
- 325g Sugar.
- 10cl of apple Brandy or Calvados.
- A pinch of Cinnamon.
- 50g butter.
Salted butter caramel sauce
- 100g Sugar.
- 1 Lemon Juice.
- 10cl Double Cream.
- 60g Salted Butter.
Let’s start with the batter. Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, add the eggs and whisk energetically for 5 minutes. Finally mix in the cider. Cook straight away putting a small amount of batter on medium heated non-stick pan. For about 5 minutes on each side. Count two pancakes per person.
For the filling peel and core all the apples. Keep them in some water and a bit of lemon juice. Then trim them into their width into discs about 1 inch thick. Keep the trimmings. Put this discs of apple on a baking tray and roast them for 5 minutes in a hot oven.
In the meantime put all the trimings into a pot and cook them with the sugar, the apple brandy the butter and the cinnamon until a dry but moist compote.
The caramel sauce is made by heating the sugar with the lemon juice until a golden brown caramel. Then away from the heat whisk in the cream and the butter. keep warm.
Finally place a pancake on a plate, put the roasted apple on top of it. Fill the gap in the center of the apple with the compote. Place a second pancake on the top it and pour some caramel on it.
Heat warm preferably. It is also suitable for coeliacs.
A little bit of kitchen science before letting you enjoying this dessert. Earlier I told you to cook the batter straight away. Why? Because here the result we want is some light, moist, tender, thick pancakes.
If you have consulted my post on buckwheat as a substitute for gluten intolerant people (category allergies and food intolerance), I discuss then about its poor level of mucilage. Buckwheat is also gluten free.
First of all, the role mucilage is to retain moisture. In this recipe it’s only the starch present in the buckwheat flour helped with some proteins in the egg yolk that will take this role. But only for a short time because the starch/egg protein matrix unfolded during the whisking of the mix, will ultimately take its original folded structure squeezing the moisture out if the mix stay raw for some time.
Secondly there is no gluten in this type of flour. Therefore our batter will lack of elasticity and plasticity. Gluten is made from two protein gliadin and glutenin. Their particular bond allow a dough or a thick batter to incorporate CO2 or air bubbles (from yeast, beer or cider), change shape under the pressure of its expansion when heated, but also resist this same pressure allowing the mix to expand. The starch will, then, stabilise the bubble wall when it drys out under the action of the heat.
Unfortunately here the mix incorporates CO2 from the cider ,with the help of the baking powder, only through the combination of the egg proteins and the starch matrix described previously. But again only for a short period. This is why we need to cook the batter quickly to dry out this fragile matrix and therefore trap this bubbles and the moisture within its shape.
I hope you will enjoy this recipe and its unusual combination of flavours.
“Avalou poazh, Piv en do c’hoach”