I recently brought in more stock of the 15 year old Calvados Hors d’Age and wanted to use it in a recipe. I have always enjoyed the effect of lighting alcohol over a dish, it is quite dramatic and the chemical reaction adds a heightened flavour to the food. The technique to “Flamber” (trad: to flame) a dish is traced back to Moorish recipes in the 1300s. It became very popular in France in the 1900s. I wanted an accompaniment to some pork escalopes and I had some lovely Granny Smith apples which I decided would work, caramelised in butter then flambeed in Calvados (apple brandy). The combination was absolutely delicious but you have to be very careful when lifghting the alcohol, always turn off the overhead extractor. I used a beautiful old Calvados, which must have had a very high alcohol content as the pan immediately filled with flames, in fact I thought the whole kitchen would catch on fire. Luckily I still have my eyebrows! I decided to pair this dish with A.Minima, a dry fruity white blended wine from Domaine Trapet in Alsace. Its aromatic exotic fruits taste and freshness was a great combination with the apples and pork. It has low sulphites and is created with absolute minimal intervention (hence the name) allowing the natural flavour of the wine to develop.
Ingredients for 2 guests:
- 2 crumbed Pork escalopes
- 1 large Granny Smith Apple
- 80g butter
- 1 tablespoon Calvados from the French Market shop
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- A Bottle of the A.Minima, Domaine Trapet wine from Alsace available at the French Market shop
- Peel and quarter the apples. Remove the core and slice lengthways to make thick slices.
- Melt half the butter in a heavy based pan, add the apples when hot and cook gently for about 15/20 minutes until soft but not mushy. Turn from time to time.
- Wash the thym and peel off some fresh leaves, put to one side
- Melt the rest of the butter in a second heavy based pan. Fry the crumbed escalopes for about 4 or 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and keep warm. Decorate the top of the escalopes with the fresh leaves of thyme.
- Before flambeing the Calvados and apples *Very important* Turn off the overhead extractor fan
- Once apples are cooked, carefully pour the Calvados over the apples in the pan and light straight away with a match. Stand back immediately as the flames can leap high.
- Once the flames have gone out, turn the apples in the mixtures and serve alongside the escalopes.
- Serve the escalopes straight away while hot.
I recommend pairing this delicious pork and apple dish with a A.Minima white wine from Domaine Trapet in Alsace.