Spago's Pink Lady apple, fennel and rhubarb crumble with buttermilk sherbet

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8
Spago’s Pink Lady apple, fennel and rhubarb crumble with buttermilk sherbet

Buttermilk sherbet


In a heavy metal saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring to boil.


Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream, zest, buttermilk, lemon juice and pinch of salt.


Freeze according to the ice cream maker’s instructions. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

Almond crumble


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the butter into quarter-inch pieces.


Place the flour, almond meal or flour, powdered sugar and pinch of salt into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On low speed, paddle the dry ingredients until evenly distributed. Add the cold butter and watch closely while you blend for about 1 minute or until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Or stir the flour, almond meal or flour, sugar and salt together and cut in the butter with a pastry blender.


Remove the mixture from the mixer, scrape down. Spread the mixture evenly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and with an off-set metal spatula toss the crumble to distribute. Return to the oven and bake for 2 to 3 minutes, until the crumble is evenly golden brown.

Apple, fennel and rhubarb filling


Grate the apple and fennel on a box grater on medium holes directly into large stainless steel mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice from the grated apple and fennel and pour the juice into a saucepan. Add the rhubarb to the bowl; toss the apple, fennel and rhubarb and set aside.


Add half the verjuice , the apple juice and half the sugar to the pan and bring to a boil. In a small cup, mix together the remaining sugar and the cornstarch. Add the remaining verjuice and stir to create a slurry. Add to the juice. Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 2 minutes until thickened and bubbling.


Pour the juice mixture over the fruit. Add the lemon juice, rose water and orange zest. Stir to combine.


Spoon the fruit mixture into 8-ounce ramekins. Top with 2 to 4 tablespoons of baked crumble.


Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes on the lower rack. If the crumble starts to darken, cover with foil. Serve with buttermilk sherbet.

From Sherry Yard, executive pastry chef at Spago in Beverly Hills. Verjuice is available at specialty food stores.

Betty Hallock was the deputy Food editor, covering all things food and drink for the Saturday section and Daily Dish blog. She started at The Times in 2001 in the Business section and previously worked on the National desk at the Wall Street Journal in New York. She’s a graduate of UCLA and New York University.
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