The name of this sweet-tart apple (available at Greenmarket’s Samascott Orchards stand) does not say it all. It’s a cross between an Empire and a Northern Spy, and as such, it’s remarkably crisp and juicy with nice acidity. But in a world of supersweet-leaning Honeycrisp dominance, the unsung NY 428, developed years ago by Cornell University’s horticulture department, has remained stuck in trial-stage code-name limbo. It deserves better—like this deconstructed-caramel-apple recipe from Toro chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer.
Toro’s Apples With Yogurt Mousse and Licorice Caramel
For the apples:
1 cup heavy cream
3 pieces star anise
1 tbs. fennel seeds
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
3 sticks butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 tsp. pastis
4 small to medium NY 428 apples (or any sweet-tart or tart variety such as Rhode Island Greening)
2 cups yogurt mousse
For the yogurt mousse:
2 gelatin sheets
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbs. sugar
1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
For the apples: In a small saucepan, simmer the cream with the star anise and fennel seeds; strain and reserve. Heat the sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan with high sides over medium heat, whisking or stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture dissolves and turns a deep amber, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the burner, and carefully add the cream. (You may want to wear oven mitts, as the cream will bubble and splatter upon contact with the sugar.) Stir in the butter a few pieces at a time. Let cool before stirring in the pastis. (1) Meanwhile, halve and core the apples, and (2) cut the halves into quarters and thinly slice. (3) Stack the slices a few at a time, and julienne.
For the yogurt mousse: Soak the gelatin sheets in two cups of cold water for five minutes. Place sheets in a saucepan with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and sugar, and stir over low heat until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining cream into stiff peaks. Fold the yogurt into the cream-sugar mixture; then fold in the whipped cream and season to taste with salt. To serve, place about 5 spoonfuls of the caramel on each of 6 to 8 plates or in bowls. Dollop the sides of the plates with the yogurt mousse. Place the apple slices on top of the caramel.
*This article originally appeared in the November 4, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.