Raspberry:Rose:Lychee Pierre Herme’s holy flavor trifecta even has a name. Ispahan. Who is Ispahan? What was his inspiration? A beautiful woman? An exotic city? A perfectly pink rose, heavily scented with the purest essence of damask? Here, she is floral lychee mousse, fragrant rose petal macarons and punchy sweet raspberry jam, it’s acidity punctuating the soft bouquet of flavors.
We’ve been working lately on perfecting craquelin, a rich and sweet bread that originated in Belgium. Similar to brioche, craquelin starts out as a rich dough, with plenty of eggs, milk and butter – but tucking sugar cubes inside the dough before baking gives it an identity all it’s own.
The sugar plays two roles, essentially. It creates raw food for yeast, which in turn creates magnificent sugar caves tunneling through the center of the pastry – and also tenderizes and moistens the crumb, creating the lightest and softest sweet bread I have ever tasted.
We worked on a few sizes ranging from 35 grams up to 60 grams – to create the perfect size for a sweet pastry to tuck into on the go, with morning coffee. Although we loved the larger sizes, the 45 gram size was the best for our use. We also tried the craquelin with plain white sugar cubes and ones macerated in Meyer lemon zest – both were excellent, but the sweet citrus of the Meyer lemons won over our hearts, especially now, when citrus fruits are at the peak of the season and they simply brighten up everything they come into contact with.
We froze apricots during the stone fruit season. Now we take them and slowly turn them into jam during the year to make sure we have tasty and beautiful apricot jam. We made this batch with vanilla and juniper berry.
Yields: 1300 grams
1000 gr apricots frozen
100 gr honey
400 gr sugar
15 gr apple pectin
25 gr lemon juice
1 ea vanilla bean
3 ea juniper berries
We mix the apricots with 300 gram of the sugar and allow it to rest at room temperature for 12 hrs. In a sauce pan we place the apricots and bring to a boil rapidly. Mix the remaining part of the sugar and pectin and add it to the pot while whisking, then add the honey and continue to whisk till the jam reaches 102 degrees Celcius. Remove the jam from the fire and add the lemon juice. Allow the jam to cool down at room temperature.
You can now take the jam and can it or keep it in the refrigerator.