Thursday, November 24, 2011
The Apple of My Eye
Downey's always leaves me thinking the old adage: Simple is not always best but the best is always simple.* And so, somehow after their Autumn Chef's Dinner earlier this month, and after all the other fine courses (including a homemade pasta with a light--yes, really--cream sauce and chanterelles, the pasta rung by kale, well, I could have had plates of that), I keep thinking of the dessert above, for which my iPhone photo does little justice.
Basically it's apple pie a la mode, isn't it? Well, I love my mom, but she sure didn't do this. For every element seems to have been labored over as if it were the only element, and you add all that care up and you get an apple dessert that will ruin you for any other. That crust, flaky and crisp, buttery but not so much it seems to ooze from your pores afterwards. Balance. Same with the apples, halved, perhaps, and then baked to the point you chew through without problem, but they still hold together--it's fruit, not sauce you're enjoying. That ice cream, vanilla and cream and enough (nothing worse than a la mode that a-la's away too soon). And then the caramel sauce, here importantly not too much--it's like a spice for the other elements that shine enough they only need a wisp of burnt sugar.
There is a reason we gave John Downey the 2011 Independent "Izzy" Award for Lifetime Achievement. The man can cook.
*Note: I do not always believe this, no way, nohow, as a lover of the Bradbury Building, Ulysses, and Phil Spector (producer, not murderer).