Gastronomixs

Oats with blackberry compote, pear sorbet and verbena

Oats with blackberry compote, pear sorbet and verbena Enlarge

The guest chef for November is Stephen Toman, chef and owner at OX* in Belfast, United Kingdom. Stephen left his home town of Belfast to work in the USA and Paris, where he learned new skills in various inspiring kitchens. For instance, he worked for Alain Passard at the restaurant L'Arpège*** in Paris. Over the years, he developed a unique and enthusiastic approach to seasonal products. Sustainability is therefore a big priority for Stephen, who works with sustainable fish and top-quality meat, and devotes great attention to seasonal fruit and vegetables.

He returned to Belfast and opened OX* in 2013 with sommelier Alain Kerloc'h. The duo put Northern Ireland well and truly on the culinary map. He presents the wonderful seasonal products of the Irish countryside in simple but technically sophisticated dishes. The dishes at OX are designed in such a way that every element on the plate plays an essential role. Stephen shares three compositions with us, including his 'signature dish' halibut with fennel curry, romanesco, bergamot, and oyster leaves.                               

Creation by Stephen Toman, OX* Restaurant, Belfast, United Kingdom.

Ingredients

75

g

flour

¼

tbsp

baking powder

75

g

oats

75

g

sugar

75

g

butter

1

tbsp

golden syrup

1

tbsp

milk

1

l

pear purée

330

ml

sugar syrup

1

tbsp

glucose

As needed:

 

lemon juice

250

g

blackberries

1

tbsp

sugar

½

 

vanilla pod

187

ml

milk

187

ml

cream

150

g

egg yolk

105

g

sugar

15

g

cornflour

30

g

verbena

As needed:

 

freshly picked verbena leaves (small and tender)

Preparation method: oat biscuit
  • Cream the butter and sugar until pale, light, and fluffy.
  • Mix in the golden syrup and milk.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to form a dough.
  • Roll the dough out into a square, half a centimetre thick.
  • Leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Cut out small biscuits from the dough.
  • Place the biscuits on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, cover with another sheet of baking parchment and use a light weight to press the biscuits down.
  • Bake at 160°C for 8 minutes.
Preparation method: pear sorbet
  • Heat the sugar syrup and glucose until the glucose has completely dissolved.
  • Whisk into the pear purée.
  • Add lemon juice to taste.
  • Allow to cool and then churn to a sorbet in the sorbetière, Frix Air, or Pacojet.
Preparation method: blackberry compote
  • Cover the bottom of a small stainless-steel pan with sugar.
  • Heat the sugar together with half of a vanilla pod until the sugar starts to caramelise.
  • Wash and drain the blackberries and add to the caramel.
  • Cook down until the compote thickens and the blackberries are soft.
  • Cover with cling film and allow to cool.
Preparation method: verbena crème pâtissière
  • Boil half of the sugar with the milk and cream.
  • Remove from the heat, add the verbena, and cover with a lid to contain the heat.
  • Allow to infuse for 30 minutes to release all the flavours. Pass through a sieve.
  • Beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar. Stir in the cornflour until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour a little of the warm milk mixture into the eggs and stir thoroughly. Add the rest of the milk and continue stirring.
  • Pour back into the pan and allow it to slowly thicken over a low heat. Stir continuously with a spatula or whisk.
  • Cover immediately with thick plastic film and leave to cool.
Finishing and presentation
  • Spoon the verbena crème pâtissière into a bowl.
  • Cover the oat biscuit completely with blackberry compote.
  • Place a quenelle of pear sorbet onto the compote.
  • Garnish with freshly-picked verbena leaves.

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