Caramelised tomato stuffed with twelve flavours and star anise ice cream

Caramelised tomato stuffed with twelve flavours and star anise ice cream

By
From
Marque
Serves
10
Photographer
Stuart Scott

This is my version of Alain Passard’s iconic dessert and I will admit right here we didn’t change it much. I remember eating the tomato in 1996 and it became a defining food memory. The dish has withstood the vagaries of fashion and is one of the great original dishes of our time. We started serving it when we opened Marque with complete acknowledgment of its source. It is wrong to lay claim to someone else’s genius.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Begin this recipe one day in advance. To make the star anise ice cream, toast 35 grams whole star anise in the oven at 160°C until aromatic. Add the star anise to a saucepan with 625 millilitres milk and 125 millilitres pouring cream and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow to infuse for 1 hour.
  2. Whisk together 100 grams caster sugar and 6 egg yolks in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Bring the milk and cream to the boil, then pour it over the egg mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Return to the saucepan over a moderate heat. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until the custard reaches 85ºC, then hold this temperature for 3 minutes. Pour the custard into a bowl and cool over ice, stirring regularly until chilled. Refrigerate for 12 hours to allow the flavours to mature. Pass through a chinoise and pour into a Pacojet beaker. Freeze until solid. Churn in the Pacojet just prior to serving.
  3. Hold a fine Microplane grater over the bowl and grate the zest of 1 Meyer lemon and 1 orange into the bowl – by grating the citrus over the bowl, the essential oils will be trapped. Add 50 grams chopped pistachios, 50 grams chopped slivered almonds, 50 grams currants, 1 vanilla pod (split and scraped), 1 teaspoon ground cloves and 1 teaspoon ground star anise. Peel 2 green pears and 2 red apples. Dice them into 2 millimetre dice and place straight into the citrus mix. Dice ¾ pineapple into 2 millimetre dice and add to the mixture. Chiffonade 15 mint leaves and mix into the fruit mince.
  4. To cook the fruit mince, combine 670 grams caster sugar and 100 millilitres water in a large saucepan. Cook this to 120°C and add all the fruit mince. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes. Quickly strain the liquor into a bowl and cool down the mince. While the fruit mince is cooling, reduce the liquour to a dark caramel and stop the cooking with 250 millilitres fresh orange juice. Store the caramel to use when reheating the tomatoes.
  5. To make the pistachio praline, bring 200 grams caster sugar to a dark caramel and then mix through 200 grams pistachios. Pour out onto a tray lined with baking paper and allow to cool. Once the caramel has hardened, roughly chop it in a food processor. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
  6. To make the candied tomatoes, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Use scissors to cut the truss away from 10 ripe truss tomatoes, leaving the small stem on each. Score the base of the tomatoes, then blanch them in boiling water for 10 seconds to release the skin. Remove from the water and peel, being careful to keep the stems on.
  7. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Use a small parisienne scoop to make a hole in the base of each tomato, reserving the tomato flesh that is cut away. Use the scoop to hollow out the inside of the tomato, removing and discarding any seeds. Fill the tomatoes with the fruit mince until threequarters full, then close with the small piece of the reserved tomato flesh. Stand the tomatoes upright on a baking rack sitting on top of a baking tray. Glaze the tomatoes with the orange caramel. Dry the tomatoes in the oven, glazing them every 30 minutes or so, for about 5 hours, or until they have shrunk and have caramelised.
  8. To serve, reheat the tomatoes in the caramel, spooning it over until they are hot and glazed. Serve a warm tomato with a quenelle of star anise ice cream sitting atop some pistachio praline and a little of the reduced caramel.
Tags:
Marque
Mark
Best
Pei
Modern
restaurant
chef
high
end
fine
dining
challenging
complex
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