Pink pearl's are the coolest apples on the planet. Why? Because they are pink! Here's a pink apple appetizer that's great for weddings, bridal showers, or a pretty little amuse bouche…
I used to have a Pink Pearl apple tree in my backyard and that's the only reason I even know about them. The trees are just as striking as the fruit with bright pink blossoms that attract lots of bees. These fuchsia fleshed beauties have an extremely short growing period (mid August through early September) so if you're lucky enough to find them, buy a whole bushel.
Pink pearl's are sweet and mouth puckering tart at the same time. Even more so than granny smith and pippin so they are fantastic for making PINK apple tarts, apple sauce, and apple appetizers.
The idea for the apple cups came from Chef François Payard who often finds creative ways to present mini bites. Every time I have made these cups, whether with regular apples or pink pearl's, I get rave reviews. They just dissolve magically when you bite into them. To make the cups slice the apples thin on a mandoline, dip in simple syrup, and dry out in the oven until they feel like leather.
While they are still warm from the oven, press the slices gently into a mini muffin pan and voilà you have a little cute cup to stuff with whatever tickles you pink. (I used fromage blanc and crème fraîche with a little brunoise of pink pearl apples, celery, and proscuitto)
Pink Pearl Apple Cups with Fromage Blanc
3 pink pearl apples
8 ounces fromage blanc
2 ounces crème fraîche
2 celery stalks with some extra light green leaves for garnish
3 sheets of proscuitto
2 pinches dried thyme
salt and pepper
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 160˚F and use convection if possible. Make simple syrup by adding water and sugar to a small pot, place on medium-high heat and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Using a mandoline slice 2 whole apples (don't core or peel) horizontally and paper thin, about 1/8-inch or even less if you can. The thinner the slice the easier it is to mold later.
Dip slices into simple syrup and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Bake for an hour or until the apples are no longer wet and sticky. They should feel like leather and be dry. Once apples have dried remove them from the oven. While still warm press the slices gently into a mini muffin tin.
In a small bowl mix the fromage blanc, crème fraîche, dried thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate. 6. Brunoise (cut into tiny, tiny cubes) the celery and the remaining apple. Mix the two together and squeeze a little lemon over to keep the apple from discoloring. Chop the proscuitto and fry in a small pan until crisp and brown. Remove from heat and chop into even smaller bits.
Fill the apple cups with a small dollop of the cheese mixture and garnish with the proscuitto, apple & celery brunoise, and a little celery leaf.