Thursday, March 11, 2010

Apple Mousse from Ullapool, Scotland

Paul Hart photo of Ullapool

This mousse is another one of my forever favorites. It comes from what I remember as being a Brigadoon-like town in the Scottish Highlands on the shore of Loch Broom and surrounded by the mountain An Teallach to the south. The name of the town, Ullapool (or Ulapul) is Gaelic for Wolf Farm…or Norse for Wool Farm. It is known for its art and culture and has been the location for many a film since it has changed little in 100 or so years (thanks to the railroad not going through) and for having been designed in 1788 by the noted bridge builder and architect, Thomas Telford (nicknamed the Colossus of Roads). *

Ullapool Church built by Thomas Telford in 1829

Apple mousse has been a favorite in one form or another in the British Isles for a very long time. The Elizabethans had the wonderfully named Dyschfull of Snowe that had whipped cream and egg whites, sugar and rosewater and the apple in the center of the dish stuck with evergreen. Here is the original (I know I’ve been at this too long when I read Elizabethan English smoothly!) from The Proper Booke of Cokerye, a 16th c cookbook.

To make a dyschefull of 

Take a pottell of swete thycke creame
 and the whytes of eyghte egges, and beate 
them altogether wyth a spone, then putte 
them in youre creame and a saucerfull of
 Rosewater, and a dyshe full of Suger wyth all, 
then take a stycke and make it cleane, and 
than cutte it in the ende foure square, and 
ther with beate all the afore sayde thynges
 together, and ever as it ryseth take it
of and put it into a Collaunder, this done
 take one apple and set it in the myddes of it,
and a thicke bushe of Rosemary, and set it
in the myddes of the platter, then cast your
 Snowe uppon the Rosemarye and fyll your 
platter therwith. And yf you have wafers
 caste some in wyth all and thus serve them 

The Germans have something similar made with egg white named aptly apfelschaum which is apple foam in English and which is what it is like… light sweet and delicious. This recipe is not light but it is fabulous and so delicious. My memories of Scotland are fond indeed although I haven’t been back in many a year. Every time I taste this mousse I'm back again!

Midcoast Fine Antiques of Maine

When I looked at the apple mousse, my first thought was “It is beige”. I always tell my art directors that 'beige = death' on film… it’s a personal prejudice, I know. So I used my Bristol Blue Rummer for an antidote to beige and then I had this crazy idea in my head to do a riff on a Victorian tortoiseshell comb.

The hitch is that the caramel melts so don’t stick them in till you are ready to serve if you decide to try them! They are pretty easy to do simply but if you are feeling inspired you can go nuts! You can make two batches of caramel… one dark and one light and combine them on the silpat to give a real tortoiseshell look. Otherwise, let’s face it… apple mousse isn’t a stunner visually (but wait until you taste it!!). Use a cup of sugar for each color.

Apple Mousse – Based on a recipe from Royal Hotel, Ullapool, Scotland

Serves 4-6

7 c apples ( I used a combination of sweet and tart from Salt Point, NY's Terhune Orchard via Union Square Farmer's Market) peeled and cored in 1” pieces ** you can add spice to the applesauce if you wish… a pinch of cinnamon and star anise is lovely (but make sure to remove the anise before pureeing). I find with the madeira that it is best without spice. Use 2 cups of apple puree.

2 T butter

3T water

l ½ tsp. gelatin (2 T water) *** for you vegetarians, just make the applesauce a little thicker and skip the gelatin… it is still great… I have done this when I made it and realized I had run out of gelatin!!!!

1/3 C honey-mild as you can find it. (I use Champlain Valley Apiaries)

1 C cream (Milk Thistle Farms is the best cream ever!)

1 -2 T scotch or 3 T madeira (Boston Bual or NY Malmsey)


½ C pecans or walnuts

2 T butter

2 T maple syrup

Melt 2 T butter, add apples and 3T water and cook covered for 15 minutes until apples are soft. Puree.

Sprinkle gelatin over 2 T water and soften 5 minutes. Add honey and Scotch (or Madeira) to the warm apples with the gelatin and cool. Beat cream till stiff and blend into the apple mix. Add to glasses and chill.

The topping is my addition to the recipe: Sauté nuts in butter till fragrant. Add maple syrup (and another splash of liquor if you would like) and sprinkle on top of the mousse and serve. It’s nice if the mousse is cold and the nuts are warm.

I’ve made this with Scotch forever… but I tried it with the Madeira and was crazy about it. I got to use a tiny bit of The Rare Wine Company's 1922 Bual in a serving and it was amazing.

*Many of the facts are from Wikipedia or the Ullapool Tourism Bureau

Bristol Blue Rummer, 1820's

Another great Foodie Friday with Gollum!!! See her green cupcakes!


Fresh Local and Best said...

This is quite an interesting dessert. It certainly is a stunner.

Cathy said...

This does look delicious and I enjoyed the story that went along with it. Love the caramel combs too.

Stella said...

Very interesting dessert, and I've never seen a recipe for a mousse quite like that. I like simple things, so I might try this.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

It sounds wonderful - even if it is beige! I love the caramel 'tortoise' combs. They look so elegant.

fimere said...

quelle délice cette mousse, même si elle est de couleur beige!!!
en plus la présentation avec le caramel c'est très chic, j'adore
bonne journée

Faith said...

I love the pictures of Scotland -- so lovely! This apple mousse sounds incredible. I'm bookmarking this recipe for next fall when I've got an abundance of apples...but I don't know if I'll be able to wait that long to make it! ;)

Barbara said...

My daughter and I had the most wonderful vacation in Scotland about 8 years ago. We stayed in country homes each night...most of them had the titled owners in residence and actively helping in some way. It was like an Enlgish movie: we were in bed and two maids came in, opened our curtains and left tea/coffee on the table. I'm smiling when I remember it.
I don't remember having apple mousse anyplace, but do remember LOVING the scones. And the tea.

Anyway, Deana, I wandered off the subject here. You made me laugh about your ability to read Elizabethan English! It's rather phonetic, isn't it?
I'm loving the apple mousse recipe AND the fact that you made those gorgeous combs. You are so clever! Fun post!

2 Stews said...

What genius, Deana. I thought the Apple Mousse sounded delightful, and then those combs...oh, those combs....pure art. I have to try this.

I've been to beautiful Scotland a few times and just loved every part of it. The people and the landscape are both gentle and inviting.



Winchester Manor said...

What a beautiful and elegant dessert! Apple Mouuse sounds divine and what a gorgeou accent the comb makes...perfection my friend!!!


Deana Sidney said...

freshlocal&best>It is also insanely easy to make. If you have frozen applesauce from your fall crop you can make it anytime!
Cathy>The combs are easy, really. I made them in 1-2-3. You could spend a lot of time but caramel is very unforgiving.
Stella>Simple it is... but good!
Savoringtimeinthekitchen> The beige thing is crazy, isn't it... probably hasa lot to do with my parent's beige-ing everything...I am the color queen! (next post will be about that!).
Fimere> Thanks so much, I don't know how chic they are.. silly and fun for sure!

Deana Sidney said...

Faith>You will really enjoy this mousse... and I think Scotland is one of the loveliest places on earth. You can make it with pears or even quince I would imagine... so simple!
Barbara> My first trip to Scotland as a teen was magic. I went into a pub in a town whose name I cannot remember for the life of me...and every single man in the place from youngest to oldest was GORGEOUS! I thought I must have died and gone to heaven. The voices.. the smell of the air in the Lochs and hills... whoa. Didn't do any castles on that trip but the people were extraordinarily kind.
You must have had so much fun with your daughter... I remember the first time an innkeeper asked me when he could knock me up... I was stunned until I figured out he was asking when I wanted to be awakened. Gotta love them.. if not the haggis.

Anonymous said...

How delightful! The apple mousse sounds fantastic and I love the caramel 'tortoise' combs on top!

Zurin said...

apple mousse sounds good to me n I find it quite fun reading the old elizabethan english having to make out those spellings of familiar words...

thecaramel looks beautiful..i never knew it could look like that! must try for me. tq :)

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

You're really something - bringing out the "medieval" in this dessert. It's just beautiful. Elegant and charming.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That apple mousse sounds interesting! I love your presentation! As usual, your posts are very interesting and informative...



Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Deana! I'm so excited as I love apple desserts so I read this post with much interest (as I read all of your fabulous posts). Thankyou so much for this and for the tips about the caramel! :D And I thought the caramel was so pretty-like tortoiseshell hair clips!

Deana Sidney said...

2Stews>I love what you said...gentle and inviting! This was my first try at the combs... I know I'm going to try again and perfect the technique! For a short time you can carve many possibilities!
FrenchCharming> You will love it... thanks for the comment! Inspiration comes from the oddest places~
5StarFoodie>Most kind... thanks the lovely Scot who invented it! It's so much easier without egg white.
Zurin>It is fun reading the old English... you will find that it gets easier after a while...I had a head start though.. I love Shakespeare!

Deana Sidney said...

Ju>Medieval has a new meaning after Tarentino used it, but it was fun to play with hot sugar... felt like a kid!
Rosa's Yummyyums>Glad you like the look...and no beige in sight!
Lorraine> I love apple desserts too... you must be in apple season now... lucky you!

Martha said...

What a different dessert. Looks good.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh dear, what a magical post...that stone cottage, the old language, the food...thank you for your visit and kind, kind words! You have a beautiful world and I am so touched by the diversity of blogland; to be able to meet people from so many walks of life is a daily treat in the midst of life's pressures! Thank you for your visit and transporting me to Scotland!


Anonymous said...

Hi and it's so nice to meet you! I enjoyed the story behind your beautiful dessert! It's gorgeous a d looks so delicious!
I want to thank you for popping in to see me and do hope you'll come back sometimes.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Allie and Pattie said...

I came to thank you for your sweet comment, but now I'm enchanted. I've never been to Scotland, but I WILL make this mousse!
xoxo Pattie

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

I loved this post with the recipe and the stories surrounding it. Scotland calls to me too and someday I'll get there. I think we could have fun in the kitchen together. Do you speak Galic?

Deana Sidney said...

Martha> Thanks.. it is in there, hiding under the caramel!
CastlesCrowns&Cottages>It is fun visiting new blogs... yours is especially beautiful and transporting. You can tell when people really love what they are writing about.
Shelia>It is a fun dessert!
AllieandPattie> Scotland is a precious place... you will love it!
Anrisha> Thanks so much... everyone thinks I'm Irish because of the red hair.. but it comes via Germany and Bologna... none from my English half. I don't speak Gaelic..but you owe yourself the treat of listening to it spoken... it is lovely.. like music!

Diane Schmidt said...

Oh caramel is a favorite, it looks delicious. What a fun recipe too.

Marysol said...

The dessert is absolutely elegant, but I have to add, the tortoiseshell garnish is ingenious!

Have a good weekend LPR!

Blondie's Journal said...

This dessert sounds elegant and delicious. I adore caramel! Thanks for sharing!


The Cooking Photographer said...

You make me want to take more pictures of my travels. I'm terrible. I never take pictures! It's more like working.

Deana Sidney said...

Diane>you can use the caramel to dip too!
Marysol>Thanks, I am really going to play with sugar now!
Blondie'sJournal>What can be bad about caramel.
CookingPhotographer> I lost so many photos... these are not mine. Now with digital.. they are all in the magic box! I guess as a photographer it is like work.. but what great work you do!

Nadji said...

Belles photos.
Cette mousse est très intéressante et la présentation est très jolie.

Linda said...

Oh my goodness...this looks so wonderful!
The combs spectacular...what a fabulous idea!
I know it must have been so delicious!
Your pics are really stunning....

Carolyn Jung said...

That is way too clever. They DO look like tortoise-shell combs. Beautiful! I'd love to wear one in my hair -- and then have a handy snack of it later, too. ;)

Gemma said...

Though the color is slightly nice, the important thing is the flavor. I like very much the decoration of candy and nuts :)

Deana Sidney said...

Saveurs>Merci, so glad you think they are pretty!
Linda> So good... only one left to eat! I love my Jane Austen vintage glass... can you believe it's 175 years old??? It looks so modern!
Carolyn>You know, I don't normally do crafty food things... it was a
an idea after seeing that comb! I am going to work on it...I once worked with silver... it's like lost-wax without the casting!
Gemma> The flavor is paramount... but you have to photograph it too!
I did use one as a spoon... the caramel was a lovely note!

Wendy said...

Tony and I had so much fun going through your post and reading the story with the recipe! This recipe looks and sounds delicious and we love the caramel! Every sunday we feature a new food blog...we would love to feature your blog...let us know what you think!
Wendy and Tony

Deana Sidney said...

Wendy> Thanks so much, I would be honored. I love stories, don't you? The caramel has been quite a hit!

Mimi said...

Fabulous post and apple mousse. Those caramel combs are so elegant in the mousse.

Rachana said...

Thanks for dropping by and for your sweet comment:) The Apple Mousse sounds interesting and those caramel combs are simply great :)

Becky said...

Fascinating! Totally unexpected, yet it sounds delicious!

La Table De Nana said...

The combs are sublime:) I had never heard of this recipe..Imagine..

You really set a scene perfectly:)

Deana Sidney said...

Mimi>Mousse is good!
Rachana>Caramel tortoiseshell.. I want to make spoons.. but they would be so sticky!
Becky>It is very light and delicate.
LaTabledeNana>A mousse without egg white is fun. Playing with your food... more fun!

Sarah said...

I love the Victorian comb idea. It looks great and the colours are so good.

Tasty Trix said...

This is a beauty of a dish, how cool! I have never had apple mousse, and your caramel touch is genius. And I am right there with you on the Elizabethan English ; )

Deana Sidney said...

All our fingers in the pie> Thanks, Sarah... it was so much fun and I love Bristol blue... you know they still make it in England??
Trix> I would imagine you would be there with me on the language...
I've been playing with it for many years but had gotten a little rusty... no more... Billy Big Boy (Sam Goldwynism for Shakespeare) and I are
back together again... oh yeah iambic pentameter!!!

Ken Albala said...

Just beautiful! And I LOVE that snow recipe. I was just writing about it the other day.

But why didn't you include the Applemoyse recipe from Proper Newe? It's the real ancestor.

tasteofbeirut said...

What a great idea to have the caramel with the apple mousse!

Michelle said...

That looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I found you from Wendy's blog. I'll be sure to stop back again. :)

Unknown said...

Absolutely beautiful. This looks like a little gem. Thankfully I've come to your blog armed with a spoon so I can sample this delicious goodie. I'm naughty like that.
*kisses* HH

Deana Sidney said...

Ken>Thanks so much for dropping by...nothing quite like snow!
tasteof beirut> not as exotic as you are used to... but flavorful!
Michelle> how sweet... how do you find time to do blogs and work on a house!
Heavenlyhousewife>that would be so cool if you could do that... i'd be big as a house if I did... so many great things on the web!

Deanna said...

Oh my goodness is that beautiful. I've never even heard of apple mousse. It sounds delicious but I might try using an apple brandy. Vegetarians could also use pectin to gel the mousse. Its made from fruit and is what is used by a lot of jam makers.

Clarity said...

I melt.

Peace, xxx.

Needful Things said...

Looks delicious and I really love the caramel combs

Deana Sidney said...

Deanna> great idea to use apple brandy...veggies can use agar agar too!
Clarity> that's a review!
Grapefruit> it really tastes great too!!!

COLARGOL said...

Superbes déco, le caramel est magnifique, quelle jolie gourmandise !

Trissa said...

Apple mousse - fantastic! I love coming to your blog for recipes that I know are delicious but won't find anywhere else!

Deana Sidney said...

Colargol> thanks so much... glad you like the mousse!
Trissa>I do have unusual things, don't I?

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Henry Voigt said...

One of the things we like best in Ullapool (and there is a lot to like there) is the fish and chips at The Seaforth, a decidedly unfancy pub on the harbor front.