This wonderful parfait has the lovely yeasty flavour that you get in sweet yeast pastries. It seemed obvious to marry it with some sort of bread, and brioche, with its buttery note, was a natural choice. I have added lemon to the ice cream, because of the slight natural acidity of the yeast. You could of course replace the lemon with orange, and maybe serve the parfait with a beer ice cream, another yeasty product.

Serves 12

Ingredients

Yeast parfait

50g milk

30g fresh yeast

125g caster sugar

400g double cream

100g water

8 egg yolks

a pinch of salt

Lemon and toasted brioche ice cream

150g brioche, made into crumbs

75g soft light brown sugar

Grated zest and juice of 3 lemons

600g milk

400g double cream

8 egg yolks

150g caster sugar

25g liquid glucose

10g ice cream stabiliser

Brioche craquant

200g caster sugar

200g liquid glucose

50g water

200g Brioche (see page 23), made into crumbs

Caramelised apple syrup

25g water

100g caster sugar

500g apple juice

Caramelised apple purée

50g caster sugar

250g peeled and cored Granny Smith apples

40g unsalted butter

Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

A pinch of salt

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Method

Yeast parfait

You will need a metal cooking frame about 36 x 12cm and 4cm deep. Place it on a tray and brush the interior and the tray with a little water or oil. Line with a double layer of cling film – it should be very smooth with no creases. Warm the milk in a small saucepan, to just a little higher than blood heat. Remove from the heat. Add the yeast and whisk to break it up until smooth, then add 5g of the caster sugar and mix. Leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes, until frothy. Set the pan back on the heat and bring to just under boiling point. Leave to cool.

Whip the cream to the ribbon stage, then place in the fridge. Put the remaining 120g caster sugar and the water in a small saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer and whisk until thick, airy and white. Cook the sugar syrup to the soft ball stage (121°C). Then with the mixer on high, slowly drizzle the syrup on to the egg yolks. Carry on whisking until cold. Fold in the yeast mixture and the salt, using a light and airy folding motion. Finally, fold in the whipped cream. Pour into the lined frame and freeze for 24 hours, then keep in the freezer until needed.

Lemon and toasted brioche ice cream

Mix together the brioche crumbs and soft brown sugar, then scatter on to a greased baking sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for 9–12 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes, until the sugared crumbs are evenly golden; be careful not to let them burn. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then break up into crumbs again.

Put the lemon zest and juice in a medium, heavy-based saucepan and gently bring to the boil, then add the milk and cream. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 2 hours. After this time, set the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar, glucose and stabiliser until pale and creamy. Pour half of the milk mixture on to the egg yolk mixture, whisking to incorporate, then pour this back into the saucepan and mix with the remaining milk mixture. Cook on a gentle heat, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, until the custard reaches 84°C, or it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and immediately strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl, to help stop the cooking. Leave to cool.

Once cold, churn in an ice cream machine; when nearly churned, fold in the toasted brioche crumbs, then finish churning. Transfer to a container and keep in the freezer until needed. Remove to the fridge 5–10 minutes before serving.

Brioche craquant

Combine the caster sugar, glucose and water in a heavy-based saucepan. Dissolve the sugar on a gentle heat, then bring up to the boil and cook until caramelised to a golden amber colour. Add the brioche crumbs and swirl around in the caramel. Immediately pour on to an oiled lipped baking tray. Leave until cold and very crisp. Break up the caramel, then place in a food processor and pulse to a coarse powder. Store in an airtight container.

When needed, sprinkle the powder in a thin, even layer on a lipped baking tray lined with baking parchment to form a large rectangle. Place in an oven preheated to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and cook until the craquant has melted and formed a single sheet of caramel. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Just before it sets, cut into 24mm x 4cm strips. You will need 24 but cut a few more just in case as they are very brittle – say 30 altogether. Leave to cool completely. (Keep the trimmings in an airtight container: they can be ground down and used again.)

Caramelised apple syrup

Dissolve the sugar in the water in a saucepan, then cook to a deep golden brown caramel – you want to catch it just before it burns. Whisk in the apple juice, then slowly bring to the boil again and reduce to a syrup-like consistency. Leave to cool. If the cold syrup is too thick, add a little water and re-boil. Place in a squeezy bottle.

Caramelised apple purée

Melt the sugar in a heavy-based frying pan, then cook to a golden caramel. Roughly dice the apples, add to the caramel with the butter and vanilla seeds, and stir. Cook until the apples have broken down and become golden. Stir in the salt and lemon juice.Blend until smooth, then pass through a fine chinois. Leave to cool. Keep in a squeezy bottle in the fridge until needed.

To serve

Remove the parfait from the freezer. Cut it lengthways down the middle, then cut across 6 times to give 12 cubes. Sandwich each cube between 2 strips of craquant. Draw 2 lines of caramelised apple syrup on each plate. Set a parfait ‘sandwich’ in the centre at an angle.Top with a quenelle of lemon and toasted brioche ice cream. Finish with blobs of caramelised apple purée.

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