Sunday, June 03, 2012

Jazz Apples Masterclass with Fast Ed

Last year, I discovered Jazz Apples. However, as I was just starting to enjoy them, the season was over after only a month or so. Last year was the first year that this newly created apple, a cross of Gala and Braeburn apples, was sold to consumers. As the trees weren't as mature yet, the amount of apples available was only small. This year though, Jazz Apples will be available for 3-4 months. It has become my favourite apple, as I love the tang that it has, like a Fuji, while having super crisp flesh, like a Pink Lady, and really thin skin like a Granny Smith.

I attended the class courtesy of Jazz Apples.

I've only been eating the apples raw so was excited to attend the Jazz Apples Masterclass with Ed Halmagyi, aka "Fast Ed" from Better Homes and Gardens, to learn about other dishes that can be cooked with the apples. Ed showed us three dishes, each using Jazz Apples. He was a great instructor and was full of really great information, tips, and had a very personable delivery that made all attendees get involved and ask questions. The three dishes that Ed demonstrated were a Slow Baked Trout with Apple Salad, Pan Seared Veal with a Potato and Apple Galette, and an Apple and Citrus Verrine. Ed made each dish look extremely simple to make, although it was a bit funny when he forgot to add the apple to the salad for the fish entree.

We split into three groups to tackle one dish each, which would then be served to everyone else. I was lucky enough to be teamed with two great cooks in Agnes and Sarah. We were assigned to do desserts (yay, my favourite part of every meal) and while it looked to be the easiest, my lack of instruction reading meant I stuffed up the quantity of flour in our crumble as well as add the cloves to it haha. I blame the recipe. Luckily, we were able to salvage my mistakes and still produce a rather good looking, and tasting, Apple and Citrus Verrine.

We all sat down at the large dining table to enjoy our efforts with some wine. I really loved the entree of Slow Baked Trout. Cooking it at the 90 or so degrees really kept the flesh super soft and the fish stock added a nice punch to it. The apple salad really helped to cut through the rich dish and enhance it with some sweetness. The Veal, at least the piece I got, was a tad overcooked for me. It was nice served with the mushrooms, but my favourite part of that dish was the super awesome apple and potato galette. The apple really added an amazing flavour to the galette. I've never thought to add apples to a galette but it really improves it.

With our Apple and Citrus Verrine, we layered a simple crumble with stewed apples in caramel, orange and lemon pieces and vanilla cream. It was such a simple but great dessert. The Jazz apples really kept their form and texture when cooked and didn't fall apart into a mush. They were soft but still had a bit to them.

It was a great masterclass and I learned some nice new ways to use apples. I tend to think of using apples only in desserts, mainly pies and cakes, but it is extremely versatile in savoury food too. Obviously, you can also eat the Jazz apples as is as they are exceptionally sweet, tangy and crispy. Go grab some and try it out for yourself and you'll be hooked.

Caramelised Apple and Citrus Verrine
Serves 16

300g unsalted butter
1 cup plain flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
8 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground fennel seed
1 cup caster sugar
16 Jazz apple, peeled and cut into wedges
2 tsp ground cloves
1kg mascarpone
400ml cream
1 cup icing sugar
4 oranges
4 lemons
16 mint leaves, finely shredded

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Combine 8 Tbsp butter with the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and fennel seeds, then rub with fingertips until a fine crumb forms. Scatter on a lined baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, until crunchy. Set aside to cool.

2. Mix the remaining butter and caster sugar in a large frying pan over a high heat and cook until a caramel forms. Add the apple wedges, then sprinkle with coves. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the apples are softened. Set aside to cool.

3. Whip the mascarpone, cream and icing sugar with the finely grated zest of the orange and lemon to soft peak. Peel the citrus and cut out the segment, Dice these and mix with the mint.

4. Assemble layers of mascarpone mixture, apple and crumbs in four tumblers (try to get at least two of each. Top with the diced citrus salad and serve.


  1. My favorite apples... this time on the stove. :D

  2. I've never tried these apples! Now I really want to go out there get and get some. There's really not many fruits to be had now that it's so cold, I'm glad apples are still here though. :)
    Love the recipe too, will try it out when I get my hands on those apples!

  3. Michelle, they're really good.

    Jenny, you must try them as their one of the best apples and my current favourite.

  4. Haha yeah it was definitely the recipe's fault... :p Our dessert was still awesome!

  5. Agnes, it was definitely the recipes fault. :-)