Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What to do with crab apples? Apple mousse

Mousse is one of my favorite culinary concepts. There are so many applications for it, I could never count them all. There are a few very basic concepts that most, if not all mousse recipes follow. First of all, it needs to be smooth and creamy. If it's not smooth and creamy, it's not a mousse. Second, whatever it is will likely have whipped cream or egg whites folded into it, to lighten it. Last, some mousses are cooked before folding, some after, and some not at all.

My crabapple mousse was an idea that I had early on, before I even made my crabapple sauce. The idea was to make a napoleon, filled with apple mousse. I will be posting the results of this shortly, but I wanted to get my mousse recipe out first as a seperate post.

I started with half a cup of my crabapple butter. Now, as you know from my previous post on it, apple butter is very smooth, and the flavor is very intense. The smoothness makes it a perfect candidate for a mousse, but because of the intensity, it's probably a little much to serve alone. Now, it's also pretty thick, which means that it won't be all that easy to fold something into it. Because of this, I whisked about one to two tablespoons of heavy cream into it, just to get a head start on lightening it.

Having done that, I took a cup of heavy cream, thoroughly chilled, and whipped it to stiff peaks. For those of you not in the know, this means that when I stop the mixer and pull it out of the bowl straight up, and then tap the beaters, the little peaks of cream stay pointy. You might want to stick with medium peaks. Then I folded the whipped cream into the apple butter, about 1/4 at a time. Voila! Apple mousse!

The flavor was still pretty intense, as expected. I don't know that I would just serve up a little dish of it. But it will be perfect for my apple napoleon when I make it.

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