In light of the holidays, we decided to do an impromptu dessert crawl with the lovely Charlotte Druckman, whose book Skirt Steak is a recent favorite of ours. After much deliberating and painful decision-making, Charlotte managed to choose three of her favorite desserts around the city. We went on a hunt with her to learn the recipe behind each and ended up cooking Olive Oil Coppetta with Otto’s Meredith Kurtzman, Holiday Rice Pudding with Clio Goodman of Puddin’, and Lemon Tart with Michal Shelkowitz at Dovetail.
Though we felt much like winners of the golden ticket – storming Wonka’s chocolate factory and finding out all his secrets, – we’re pretty sure we still can’t execute these desserts like these chefs can. They’re all, no doubt, NYC favorites. Even at times when dessert is replaced with cheese plates, charcuterie boards or that side of truffle fries, these desserts are the ones with the most steadfast devotees. While we at The New Potato occasionally find ourselves choosing savory over sweet, after this crawl that decision has fallen by the wayside. Follow Charlotte on her journey to learn (and devour) New York’s most perfected desserts…
OLIVE OIL COPPETTA
Put lime curd, rosemary pignoli brittle, tangerine sorbet, clementines in orange caramel on top of olive oil gelato in a bowl or Coppa Gelato. Sprinkle of Maldon salt, drizzle of olive oil.
OLIVE OIL ICE GELATO
500 ML MILK
150 GR. SUGAR
5 EGG YOLKS
250 GR. CREME FRAICHE
1 VANILLA BEAN
100 ML EV OLIVE OIL
1 TSP. SALT
Use your favorite, assertive, delicious olive oil for this recipe. I prefer Sicilian olive oils, which have a nice green, grassy flavor…
1. Heat milk, split vanilla bean and creme fraiche with 1/2 of the sugar over medium flame. Bring to a simmer, making sure that sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
2. Whisk egg yolks with remaining sugar in a metal bowl. Slowly pour hot mixture into eggs, whisking until foamy. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the spoon. Do not boil.
3. Strain mixture into a metal container and chill in an ice bath, stirring to cool the mixture down quickly. Store in refrigerator for a few hours before whisking in olive oil and freezing the mixture in ice cream machine.
ROSEMARY PIGNOLI BRITTLE:
1 &1/2 TBSP. FRESH ROSEMARY LEAVES
1&1/2 CUPS PIGNOLI NUTS
1&1/3 CUPS SUGAR
1/4 CUP CORN SYRUP
3 TBSP.[1&1/2 OZ.] BUTTER
1/2 CUP WATER
3/8 TSP. BAKING SODA
1 TSP. SALT
3-4 TBSP. COOKING OIL [CANOLA, GRAPESEED]
Working with hot sugar requires good pre-organization, a clean, non-cluttered work space and quick, careful moves in the kitchen. Sugar burns are no fun…
1. Lightly roast pignoli nuts in an oven set to 325 degrees for ten minutes, or on the stovetop in a heavy pan. They should be lightly browned. Set Aside.
2. Brush a large sheet of parchment paper with oil and place on a clean flat work surface. Brush a large offset spatula and a whisk with oil and set aside.
3. Combine water, corn syrup, sugar and butter in a medium sized sauce pan. Cook at medium heat until the mixture turns golden brown. You’ve gotta work fast at this point…Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the baking soda and salt into the pot. Stir in the nuts and rosemary with the offset spatula, coating them thoroughly with the sugar mixture. Spread the brittle onto the parchment and use the cut lemon to smooth it out. [That's the old school/low tech approach] If you have two large sheets of silpat, spread the brittle onto one, top with the other and using a heavy rolling pin, roll the brittle as flat and thin as possible.
4. Allow the brittle to cool. Break or cut into whatever size desired.
2 TSP. ORANGE ZEST
1/2 CUP FRESH SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE
1 CUP SUGAR
1. Place sugar in a small saucepan, adding just enough water to make the texture of wet sand. Place a small bowl over the pot – this will cause condensation as the sugar boils, which washes down the interior of the pot and prevents the sugar from crystalizing as it cooks. Place over medium heat and cook to mahogany brown. Remove the pan from the stove and carefully whisk in orange juice. Stir in the zest and allow to cool. Strain.
2. Peel clementines. Section them and remove as much white pith as possible. Stir into cooled caramel. These will hold nicely in syrup for a day.