Spago’s Pink Lady Apple, Fennel and Rhubarb Crumble with Buttermilk Sherbet

While apple pies and crumbles are good dessert options, today’s Secret Recipe from Spago takes it to the next level. This crumble is brimming with a blend of apple, fennel, and rhubarb that creates an amazing flavor. Despite fennel being an unusual ingredient in desserts, its subtle anise taste complements the sweet and tangy combination of apples and rhubarb to create a remarkable outcome.

Spago, one of Los Angeles’ most famous restaurants, was opened by Wolfgang Puck in 1982 and has been a huge success ever since. It is a trendy spot among celebrities and food enthusiasts alike.


Secret Recipe Alert
Spago’s Pink Lady Apple, Fennel and Rhubarb Crumble with Buttermilk Sherbet

Buttermilk sherbet:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a heavy metal saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring to boil.

  2. Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream, zest, buttermilk, lemon juice and pinch of salt.

  3. Freeze according to the ice cream maker’s instructions. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

Almond crumble:

  • 1/4 cup butter, ice-cold
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal or almond flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the butter into quarter-inch pieces.

  2. Place the flour, almond meal or flour, powdered sugar and pinch of salt into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On low speed, paddle the dry ingredients until evenly distributed. Add the cold butter and watch closely while you blend for about 1 minute or until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Or stir the flour, almond meal or flour, sugar and salt together and cut in the butter with a pastry blender.

  3. Remove the mixture from the mixer, scrape down. Spread the mixture evenly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and with an off-set metal spatula toss the crumble to distribute. Return to the oven and bake for 2 to 3 minutes, until the crumble is evenly golden brown.

Apple, fennel and rhubarb filling:

  • 1 pound Pink Lady apples, peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 pound fennel
  • 1/2 pound rhubarb, peeled and sliced into eighth-inch slices
  • 3/4 cup verjuice , divided
  • 2/3 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon rose water
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
  1. Grate the apple and fennel on a box grater on medium holes directly into large stainless steel mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice from the grated apple and fennel and pour the juice into a saucepan. Add the rhubarb to the bowl; toss the apple, fennel and rhubarb and set aside.

  2. Add half the verjuice , the apple juice and half the sugar to the pan and bring to a boil. In a small cup, mix together the remaining sugar and the cornstarch. Add the remaining verjuice and stir to create a slurry. Add to the juice. Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 2 minutes until thickened and bubbling.

  3. Pour the juice mixture over the fruit. Add the lemon juice, rose water and orange zest. Stir to combine.

  4. Spoon the fruit mixture into 8-ounce ramekins. Top with 2 to 4 tablespoons of baked crumble.

  5. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes on the lower rack. If the crumble starts to darken, cover with foil. Serve with buttermilk sherbet.

Serves 8

Source: LA Times

Until Next Time… Be Well!


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