spiced carrot crumble with vermouth, orange & crème fraîche

  • Currently 4/5
one of those complicated recipes to be reserved for when i have the time to devote to exploring. a possible dessert that utilizes non-dessert ingredients in a unique way.

recipe from Jeremy Fox of Ubuntu in Napa via SFGate.com

yields: 4 servings
10 large organic carrots
2 Cara Cara or navel oranges
1/4 c canned coconut milk
5 tbsp sweet vermouth
Kosher salt
1/2 baguette, crust removed
1/4 c + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp blanched almonds
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
8 young carrots
4 tbsp crème fraîche
fresh chervil and wild greens of your choice
Maldon sea salt
1. preheat oven to 250°F.
2. for the puree:
1.  peel all of the large carrots. set four of the carrots aside. roughly chop the remaining six carrots into a size suitable for your juicer, then juice them according to the machine's instructions. set the juice aside in a medium-size nonreactive pot, and reserve the leftover "pulp" from the juicing. you should have approximately 2 cups worth of juice. alternatively, you can buy fresh carrot juice and pulp from your favorite smoothie or juice shop.
2.  evenly spread 1 1/2 cups of the reserved carrot "pulp" on a sheet pan and dry out in the oven for 1-1 1/2 hours. you can pre-dehydrate the pulp in the microwave if you have less time to make the crumble. once the pulp is dried out, chop coarsely, and set aside.
3.  meanwhile, zest the oranges, then cut the peel from the oranges and segment the fruit over a bowl to catch the juices. set the segments aside, and squeeze any remaining juice from the leftover membranes into the bowl. add juice to the pot with the carrot juice.
4.  slice the remaining large carrots into 1/2-inch thick half moons. add them to the carrot-orange juice mixture along with the orange zest, coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of the vermouth and a pinch of kosher salt. cover and cook over very low heat until the carrots are completely soft, about 1 hour.
5.  using an immersion or countertop blender, carefully puree the mixture until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh sieve. taste and adjust the carrot puree for seasoning, adding as much salt as you like.
6.  in a small saucepot or pan, reduce by boiling the remaining 3 tablespoons of the vermouth to a syrup, and set aside.
3. for the crumble:
1.  slice a half of the baguette into 1/2-inch thick rounds, and brush lightly with about 1/4 cup olive oil. reserve the remaining olive oil - you'll need it for the finished crumble.
2.  arrange the baguette slices on a sheet pan or cookie tray, and toast in the oven until the bread is dried out, but not darkened, about 10-15 minutes.
3.  once cooled, roughly chop the bread pieces in either a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. the bread should be in coarse, small pieces. set aside. raise the oven to 350°.
4.  once the oven is up to temperature, spread the almonds out over a small sheet pan or cookie tray, and toast in the oven for 6 minutes, or until they are fragrant and the edges are just beginning to darken. remove from the oven, chop coarsely and set aside.
5.  in a medium-size bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, almonds, dried carrot "pulp," spices, the 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus any leftover from the first 1/4 cup, then season with salt to taste.
4. peeling the young carrots:
1.  in a large pot, submerge the carrots in water, and season lightly with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. bring the water to a low simmer, and cook the carrots until they just become tender, about 10 minutes.
2.  remove the carrots from the heat, and allow to cool to room temperature in the water. using a clean towel, carefully rub the peels off the carrots.
5. to assemble:
1.  spread the warmed carrot puree on a small plate.
2.  randomly arrange the young carrots over the top.
3.  add the orange segments to the plate.
4.  sprinkle generously with the crumble topping, finishing with a dollop of crème fraîche.
5.  drizzle the vermouth syrup over the dish, garnishing with fresh chervil, the wild greens and a sprinkling of Maldon sea salt.
possibly sub sour cream for crème fraîche but it won't be as creamy rich as it is higher in fat. to make a closer substitute check out the Splendid Table as they have a faux homemade substitute using cultured buttermilk and cream.

per serving:
525 calories, 7 g protein, 58 g carbohydrate, 29 g fat (6 g saturated), 6 mg cholesterol, 541 mg sodium, 12 g fiber.
Cooking Method   BakedMain Ingredient   Vegetables
Style   GourmetPrep Time   more than 2 hours
Features   Low-Fat, Low-Sodium, Vegetarian, Wheat/Gluten-Free

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