Polenta Sponge, Brandy Custard, Poached Cranberries, Bramley Apple Purée and Apple Jelly

For the Polenta Sponge

  • 120g soft unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs- lightly beaten
  • 75g ground sunflower seeds
  • 75g fine polenta
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 orange zest
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Soft brown sugar

For the Apple Puree

  • 2 x Bramley apples – core removed and cut into 4
  • Green food colouring

For the Brandy Custard

  • 375ml milk
  • 1/2 vanilla pod split lengthways
  • 90g egg yolks
  • 75 caster sugar
  • 45g cornflour
  • Brandy
  • 225ml double cream- whipped

For the Poached Cranberries

  • 150g cranberry juice
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g cranberries

For the Apple Pearls

  • 125g apple juice
  • 6.2g Veg Gel (Sosa)
  • 500g vegetable oil – fridge temperature


For the polenta sponge.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees cel. Line small rings with parchment paper, with a 2 cm excess. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium size bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in the sunflower seeds, polenta, baking powder, orange zest, and salt. Sprinkle a little brown sugar in the bottle of the ring, and pipe the sponge into the rings. Bake for 20 minutes.

For the apple puree. Pre-heat the oven to 170 deg cel. Place the apple on a parchment lined tray. Place in the oven, cook for 20 minutes or until the apple is cooked through. Blend, and then add a little colouring, pass through fine sieve.

For the brandy custard.  Put the milk in a saucepan, scrape the seeds from the split vanilla pod and add to the milk, bring to the boil. In a separate bowl mix together the egg yolk and sugar, and when combined add the cornflour. Again mix until smooth. Pour half the milk into the mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Pass this mixture through a fine sieve and return to the remaining milk in the pan over a gentle heat. When the mix comes to the boil, simmer for a few minutes. Add the brandy to taste. Now pour onto a cold tray and refrigerate. When completely cool reserve ¼ of the mix and place in a piping bag. Fold whipped cream into remaining mix, and place the finished crème patisserie in a piping bag. Refrigerate.

For the poached cranberries. Bring the cranberry juice and sugar to the boil, until sugar is dissolved, and then add the cranberries, turn the heat to very low and cook until cranberries are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool in the liquid.

For the apple pearls. Combine the apple juice, veg gel, and glitter in a small sauce pan. Mix thoroughly, then place on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and cool slightly, then place in a squeezy bottle, and drip into the cold oil. Then place back in the fridge for 15 minutes. Then drain through a sieve (reserve oil for next time) and rinse lightly with warm water. Drain on kitchen paper.