Comprised of over 400 food, beverage and hospitality professionals, the San Francisco Professional Food Society holds a focused interest in promoting education among members throughout the community. The organization works to facilitate in career advancement through networking, tools and resources. This week, SFPFS toured the California Vegetable Specialties farm in Rio Vista—the sole source of commercially available, US-grown endive.
During this tour, SFPFS was shown the unique growing process involved with producing Californiaendive. During the visit, they were given a blind taste test where they tried red and white endive.
It was during this visit that a new dish was developed where Jennie Schacht (author of Farmers’ Markets Desserts and several other cookbooks) created something very unique: a dessert using the crunchy, bittersweet endives. She created two desserts. The first was a caramelized endive ice cream sundae; the second was an incredibly decadent Apple-Endive Strudel served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of concentrated balsamic-endive syrup.
Here is the recipe for the low-fat Apple-Endive Strudel. Schacht recommends that you use mellow balsamic vinegar that has been aged for at least ten years and to use a wine with little or no oak. Use tart apples like Gravenstein, Braeburn, or Jonagold. Enjoy it with a hot cup of coffee.
The original link to the recipe: http://www.endive.com/node/124
This recipe is designed to serve 8-10 people.
4 medium or 3 large heads ofCaliforniaendive, either white or red
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds apples (about 6 medium), peeled and cored
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, cinnamon, or mixed baking spice
10 sheets of phyllo dough (about 8 ounces), approximately 17-by-12 inches, at room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar, for finishing
Ice cream, for serving (optional)
Cut the endives in half the long way, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch ribbons. (Discard the dense central cores for a less bitter dessert.) Put the endive in a medium saucepan with the wine, balsamic, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the salt. Heat to a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the endive softens and the syrup thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Spoon the endive into a strainer set over a bowl to catch the syrup; set aside.
While the endive cooks, cut the apples into approximately 1/2-inch cubes. Put the apples into the pan used for the endive (no need to wash it) and add the spice, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and 1/4 cup of water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until nearly all of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add the endives from the strainer to the apples, stirring to combine; set aside. Reserve the syrup.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the center position. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set the phyllo on a flat surface and cover it with a damp cloth. (Keep the unused phyllo covered as you work.) Set the reserved syrup nearby, as well as the remaining sugar (about 1/4 cup) in a small bowl.
Lay out a sheet of phyllo on the lined baking sheet. (If some of the phyllo sheets fall apart, use the best ones as the base for each roll, then lay out the additional layers as best you can—they won’t show.) Use a pastry brush to dab it all over with the reserved syrup, then sprinkle it with about a teaspoon of sugar. Repeat the layering (phyllo, syrup, sugar) to make 5 layers. Spread half of the apple-endive mixture along a long side of the phyllo, mounding it in a log shape, leaving 1-1/2 inches uncovered along the bottom and sides.
Fold the bottom of the phyllo over the filling, then tuck in the two sides and continue rolling tightly until you reach the top. Set the log seam-side down on the lined baking sheet, leaving room for the second roll.
Use the remaining phyllo, filling, syrup, and sugar to make a second roll on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Use the paper to transfer the roll, seam-side down, to the baking sheet. Lightly brush the tops with syrup and sprinkle with any remaining sugar.
Bake the strudels until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the tops, then let stand at least 15 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature, sifting additional confectioners’ sugar over the top just before serving, if you wish. Use a serrated knife with a sawing motion to gently cut the strudel into pieces. Serve with ice cream and a bit of the remaining syrup, if you wish.
Refrigerate leftover strudel, tightly covered, for up to 2 days. If desired, reheat in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, until warm.
15 Poppy House Road
Rio Vista, California 94571