Matched with dough in different designs, fall's favorite fruit inspires cleverly updated classic desserts by the bushel.
This article first appeared in the 1 October 2006 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
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By Allison Perlik, Senior Editor
Apple Beignets (above)
Vox Populi, Boston. Executive Chef Eric Bogardus' riff on New Orleans-style fritters starts with sliced apples macerated in lemon juice, orange liqueur, water and sugar. For frying, the slices are coated in yeast batter with beer, brandy and vanilla extract. For serving, the beignets are sprinkled in confectioners sugar and served with jalapeño-spiked cider glaze.
Sizzling Apple Pie à la Mode
T.G.I. Friday's, multiple locations. A recent debut from the Carrollton, Texas-based chain cashes in on the red-hot trend of tableside preparation with a fun take on the all-American classic. Topped with rustic pastry crust and vanilla ice cream, sliced apples arrive at guests' tables on sizzling platters; servers finish the dish with a generous pour of caramel sauce.
Atwood Café, Chicago. At home on a menu of updated American comfort food, Executive Chef Heather Terhune's hard-to-resist cobbler incorporates white Cheddar cheese into the classic crumb topping. The extra-sharp cheese complements tart green apples sautéed in butter and spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon; vanilla ice cream is a natural accompaniment.
Pandini's, multiple locations. This concept from Sodexho's Retail Brand Group combines prepared apple-pie filling with the same dough used for signature pizzas and savory stromboli to create a kitchen-friendly dessert. The cinnamon-dusted stromboli are par-baked in open-flame deck ovens and reheated for service, garnished with caramel and confectioners sugar.