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We mourn the loss of a treasured member of the Gourmet Traveller family who passed awayon December 10, 2016. British writer AA Gill was a contributor to the magazine from July 2004. Gill’s travel column was as insightful as it was witty, funny as it was thoughtful – he was without peer. This is the final piece he wrote for Gourmet Traveller; it appears in the December issue, 2016. - Anthea Loucas Bosha, Editor

Coconut crab and green mango salad

"This salad bursts with fresh, vibrant flavours and became a signature on my Paramount menus," says Christine Manfield. "I capitalised on using green mangoes in many dishes as they became more widely available. Blue swimmer crabs from South Australia have the most delicious sweet meat. It's best to buy them whole, cook them yourself and carefully pick the meat from the shell - a tedious task but it gives the best flavour. This entree also works well with spanner crab meat (you can buy this in packs ready cooked from reliable fishmongers). The sweetness of the crab, the richness of the fresh coconut and the sourness of green mango make a wonderful partnership. It's all about harmony on the palate and using the very best produce."

Perfect match: late-harvest wine with apple pie


You'll need

350 gm rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces 6 Granny Smith apples, each cut into eighths 300 gm caster sugar 150 gm frozen raspberries, defrosted 60 gm plain flour Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange For brushing: eggwash For scattering: demerara sugar   Toasted almond ice-cream 160 gm almonds 600 ml pouring cream 300 ml milk 6 egg yolks 150 gm caster sugar   Sour cream pastry 250 gm (1 2/3 cups) plain flour 40 gm (¼ cup) pure icing sugar, sieved 140 gm chilled butter, coarsely chopped 120 gm sour cream

Method

  • 01
  • For toasted almond ice-cream, preheat oven to 180C. Scatter almonds on an oven tray and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden (6-7 minutes). Coarsely chop, combine in a saucepan with cream and milk, bring to the simmer, then set aside to infuse (1 hour). Strain through a fine sieve into a clean pan (discard almonds) and bring to the simmer over medium heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Whisking continuously, pour hot cream mixture into egg mixture. Pour into a clean pan and stir continuously over low-medium heat until mixture thickly coats a spoon (6-7 minutes). Strain into a bowl over ice and set aside to cool completely (2 hours). Churn in an ice-cream machine and freeze until required. Makes 1.2 litres.
  • 02
  • For sour cream pastry, process flour, sugar and ½ tsp salt in a food processor to combine, add butter and pulse until only small lumps of butter remain. Add sour cream, pulse to combine, turn onto a work surface, bring together with the heel of your hand, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (2 hours).
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Stir rhubarb, apple, sugar, raspberries, flour, orange rind and juice in a bowl to combine, then spoon into a 24cm-diameter 5cm-deep pie dish.
  • 04
  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 4mm thick. Brush edges of pie dish with eggwash, place pastry on filling and press over dish rim to seal, trim edges and pierce a hole in the centre. Brush with eggwash, scatter with demerara sugar and bake until golden and crisp (55 minutes-1 hour 5 minutes; cover with foil if pastry colours too quickly). Set aside to cool slightly, then serve with toasted almond ice-cream.

To understand why this dessert tastes so good - and why a late-harvest sweet white wine tastes so good with it - we need to understand the role of acidity in the raw materials. Without the malic acid in the apples, for example, they'd be all sugary softness. The same's true of the tongue-tingling oxalic acid in the rhubarb, the citric acid in the orange and the lactic acid in the sour cream: it's the acidity that gives all these ingredients the tang that enlivens the tastebuds, stops the dish from cloying, and urges us to take another bite. Acidity is also crucial in wine, especially if that wine has been made from late-harvest, partially shrivelled grapes. Without acid, very ripe, sweet grapes produce wine that's all flabby, honeyed softness, with no life on the tongue. That's why naturally high-acid white grapes like sauvignon blanc and riesling are chosen to make late-harvest wines: they're quite tart even when overripe.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

May 2013

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