Gjetost-miso custard with brown butter and apples: a plated dessert

The inspiration from this dessert actually came from a restaurant in Boston that I went to my freshman year of college for dinner. I won’t name which one, because sadly the dessert I had ordered there was one of the worst ones I have ever had. It was a miso creme brulee with apple mille feuille, which I was so excited to try at first. Looking at the menu, I ordered that in a heartbeat, thinking it would be absolutely delicious. But instead, I got a creme brulee that tasted like spray cheese, and instead of layers of flaky pastry with apples like I had hoped, I got just a very sour terrine of apples that were baked together. I was not a fan, to say the least. That being said, I was inspired to try turning around the dessert, and make it more in line with what I had envisioned.

So first of all, I do not own a blowtorch, and I did try to use the broiler on my custards, but to no avail. So I had to opt for a simple set custard instead of the creme brulee like I wanted. That being said, I did include sweeter elements to make the dessert taste less like spray cheese as a whole. The dessert includes a gjetost and miso custard, a caramelized opal apple terrine, brown butter warqa pastry, and a brown butter caramel. I used the opal apples since they were naturally sweeter than a Granny Smith, and the gjetost cheese, which adds more caramel notes to the custard. I used a white miso instead of the typical yellow miso, since it is less salty, therefore, preventing my custard from tasting like Kraft’s finest. Overall, what I love about this dessert is it is a lot closer to what I envisioned I was ordering, and it has a lot more dessert-forward flavor profiles to it so that if you choose to make this, you will not be experiencing what I had all those years ago.

For the apple terrine:
1 opal apple
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown butter
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
a pinch of salt

Peel and core the apple first. Shave the apple on a mandolin on the thinnest setting. Toss the apple slices with the other ingredients, not worrying if the pieces crack or tear. Line a small square shaped baking container with parchment. Place your apples into that and roast them at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes. Halfway through the roasting process, flip the apples so that the caramel and liquids can redistribute into the side that was being exposed to the direct heat. Allow the terrine to cool down before slicing into smaller pieces.

For the custard:
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely grated gjetost cheese
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon white miso pate
2 tablespoons agar agar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a pot, heat up the heavy cream with the gjetost, whisking until fully combined. In a bowl, whisk together your other ingredients, sans vanilla. Pour half of the heated cream mixture into the egg mixture while whisking, then return the cream and egg mixture into the pot with the rest of the cream. Whisk on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Pass through a sieve, add in the vanila, and pour your custard base into three silicone petit gateau or muffin molds. Freeze for at least an hour to guarantee proper setting and easy unmolding.

For the warqa pastry:
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon semolina flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup warm water
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons brown butter, melted

Mix everything but the brown butter together to form a batter. On a double boiler, place a nonstick pan and lightly line the pan with a thin layer of oil. Brush the batter onto the pan and allow that to cook on one side until it peels away from the edges. Once so, remove the pastry and brush with brown butter and place onto a lined sheet tray. Repeat this until you have used up all of the batter. Bake the pastry pieces at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until crunchy and golden brown.

For the brown butter caramel:
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons chilled brown butter
3 tablespoons milk

Heat up sugar, salt, and water first. Once the liquid has reduced to a syrup that reaches 300 degrees F on a thermometer, take the mixture off heat and add in the brown butter and milk. Stir until combined. Allow the mixture to cool down to just above room temperature before using.

For assembly:
1 opal apple
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
a pinch of salt

Shave the opal apple on a mandolin on the thinnest setting. Toss with the salt and vinegar and wrap into curls. Unmold the custards. Start with a row of caramel on the bottom of the plate. Then place on the custard, slices of your apple terrine, and finish with the warqa pastry and the curls of apple.

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