Serves: Makes 8 servings
- 1 recipe Gingerbread Scones, prepared through Step 2
- 6 large egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) Calvados or other apple brandy
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) apple juice
- 3⁄4 cup (6 ounces) heavy whipping cream
For the Scones:
- 3 tablespoons turbinado or Hawaiian washed raw sugar
- 6 large, tart baking apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
- ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Procedures:A very special ending to a celebratory autumn dinner (even if all you’re celebrating is falling leaves), these shortcakes offer layer after layer of favorite cold-weather flavors. And the apple, cinnamon, and caramel bring to mind those other seasonal favorites: wood smoke curling from the fireplace, big plaid blankets and trees ablaze with color.
- Make the sabayon: Fill the large bowl halfway with ice and water and set it aside. Place 2 inches of water in the bottom of the double boiler and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer. Place the egg yolks and sugar in the top of the double boiler off the heat and whisk briefly, just until well blended and slightly lightened in color. Add the Calvados and apple juice and blend well. Place the egg mixture over the simmering water and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes (a hand mixer can be used here), or until it becomes very light and fluffy, resembling softly whipped cream in texture, and registers 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. Do not exceed 165°F or the eggs could scramble. If you see the sauce beginning to scramble around the edges, quickly remove the top of the double boiler from the heat and whisk vigorously. This will usually save the sauce, but if it still looks flat and broken, or there are large pieces of scrambled egg in the sauce, there is no recourse but to begin again with new ingredients. As soon as the sauce is finished, remove it from the heat. Place immediately in the bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally with the spatula until cold to the touch.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, or with a hand mixer and a medium bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Use a clean spatula to fold the whipped cream into the cooled sauce.
- Cut and bake the scones: Preheat the oven to 425°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and pat the dough into an 8 by 4-inch rectangle. Use the chef's knife to cut the dough in half lengthwise and into quarters crosswise, making eight 2-inch squares. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush off any excess flour and space them evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar generously over the tops and press lightly into the surfaces. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden in color. Transfer to a rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. These are best served while still warm, although they may be served cool.
- Caramelize the apples: While the scones are baking, toss the apple slices with the sugar and cinnamon until evenly coated. You might think that there are too many apple slices, but they shrink quite a bit during the cooking process. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. When it has melted, swirl the pan to coat it with the melted butter, turn the heat to high, add half of the apple slices, and spread in a single layer. (Note: Don't try to cook the apples all at once-if you crowd them, they'll poach in their own juices rather than caramelize.) Cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Gently toss or stir the apples. Cook for 2 minutes longer, then toss or stir again. Continue in this manner until the apples are golden brown and cooked through (the tip of a paring knife should slide easily in and out of the slices), yet still hold their shape, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat with the 1 remaining tablespoon of butter and the rest of the apple slices.
- Assemble and serve the scones: Split the warm scones in half and place a bottom half on each plate. Spoon the apples onto the scone bottoms, allowing some to fall onto the plate. Top with a generous spoonful of cider sabayon. Place the scone tops slightly askew and serve immediately.