Beetroot, Apple and Cobnut with Roasted White Chocolate Spoom

Iain Pennington

Iain Pennington

2nd October 2014
Iain Pennington

Beetroot, Apple and Cobnut with Roasted White Chocolate Spoom

Beetroot, Apple and Cobnut with Roasted White Chocolate Spoom

Extracted from The Ethicurean Cookbook (Ebury Press, Hardback £25) (p.273-274)

Photography by Jason Ingram

Serves 6–8


  • 350g Albina Ice beetroot (or substitute golden beetroot, Chioggia or red varieties for a very different colour finish)
  • 500g Ribston Pippin apples (or Cox’s Orange Pippins)
  • Roasted White Chocolate Spoom (see page 276), to serve
  • For the crumble:
  • 100g cobnuts
  • 260g plain flour
  • 165g demerara sugar
  • 165g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes.
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • For the vanilla and cider brandy caramel:
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 100ml aged cider brandy
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes


First make the crumble:
Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Put the nuts in a food processor and blitz for a second or two, until they are coarsely chopped.
Sift in the flour, add the sugar and turn on the processor again.
Slowly add pieces of butter through the food tube until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (You can do this all by hand, if you prefer, rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips.)
Scatter the mixture into a 24cm non-stick oven-proof frying pan without pressing it down.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
the crumble separately like this means it retains its crunch
against the moist apple.
Remove from the oven and cool slightly, then turn it out on to a serving plate by placing the plate over the pan and carefully flipping them both over. Hopefully it will come out clean and unbroken.
Set aside for later.
Clean out the pan now, ready for making the caramel top.
Wash the beetroot well, trimming away the stems, then slice
them finely from top to bottom.
This will be easier with a mandoline, though entirely possible with a calm, steady hand and a sharp knife.
Core the apples and slice finely into discs.
Put the sugar and cider brandy into the non-stick frying pan. Slit the vanilla pod down its length, scrape the seeds into the pan and add the pod halves as well.
Set the pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
The liquid may ignite as the alcohol cooks off.
Continue to cook, without stirring but keeping a close eye on it, until it turns a light caramel colour, similar to that of demerara sugar.
As soon as this occurs, remove the pan from the heat.
Lay the slices of beetroot in the caramel to cover the base of the pan,
then add alternate layers of apple and beetroot.
Dot the butter over the top and place in the oven.
Check it after 35 minutes; it is ready when the moisture has been cooked out and there is a clear layer of deep caramel colour around the edges.
This could take up to an hour, depending on the moisture content of the
apples and beetroot, so keep checking at 10-minute intervals.
When it is ready, remove from the oven and leave for 15–20
minutes, until the pan handle is cool enough to hold.
Slide the crumble off its plate on to the apple.
Put the plate face down on to this, then flop the whole thing over, taking care to hold the plate steady too.
The apple mixture should come free from the pan with a gentle shake; go slowly and gravity should suffice.
Serve with the roasted white chocolate spoom.

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