Wine is best consumed with food and it can also make a fabulous addition to many recipes!

Elements@the Garden's Autumn Splendour

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The very talented Adam McLean from Elements@the Gardens in Wagga Wagga, NSW, has once again stepped up to the challenge of creating a delicious dish with Stanton and Killeen Fortifieds (see also the Duck and Topaque recipe). 

This creation uses some of the best autumn flavours. With pistachios ready to pick in April and pears at the best over the cooler autumn months, these flavours go perfectly with the silky smooth caramel and butterscotch tones of our Topaque (formerly Tokay). Cook with bulk Topaque ($11.50/L) or Rutherglen Muscat ($20 for 500ml) and best served with our average age 12 years Classic Topaque ($35, 500ml). Gather your friends and impress them with this beautifully styled (and delicious!) dessert.


  • 350 ml Cream
  • 11 Egg yolks
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 275g Castor sugar
  • 200ml Stanton Killeen Topaque
  • 4 Cardamon pods
  • 2 Vanilla bean
  • 2 Pears
  • 100g Pistachio nuts
  • 100g Plain flour
  • 65g Butter
  • 30g Icing sugar

To Prepare:

The brûlée:

Combine 8 egg yolks and 100g castor sugar in a metal bowl and whisk untill pale and fluffy, meanwhile heat 350 ml cream and 1 vanilla bean (split down the middle) in a saucepan untill it boils, remove from heat.

Add the cream to your egg mixture and mix thoroughly. Over a waterbath continually whisk the mixture for about 20 mins, until thick enough that you can make a figure 8 on the surface, remove from heat and whisk for 3 minutes to cool. Pour into a shallow dish to set (about 4 hours).

The pears:

Pour 200 ml of topaque in a small nonreactive saucepan, add half a vanilla bean and 4 cardamon pods, bring to the boil.

Meanwhile peel 2 pears cutting the top and bottom to make a flat surface. Slice the pear in half vertically and then each half into 3 equal pieces, slice off the interior 5mm of each piece, removing any trace of core.

Add the pear slices to the poaching liquid and return to the boil, set heat to very low and cover fruit with baking paper (pressed down so the fruit isn't exposed to air). Poaching times will vary depending on the ripeness and variety of pears, so check after 10 mins and then every 5 mins thereafter until a small knife can pierce the fruit with little resistance. Remove fruit to cool.

Add 50g of sugar to remaining poaching liquid and reduce until a light syrup (roughly 1/4 of the original volume). Set aside

The Sablée crumbs:

Place pistachio nuts on a baking tray and bake at 180 until just coloured, remove and allow to cool. 

In a food processor place 100g plain flour, 30g icing sugar, 65 g butter and a pinch of sea salt, pulse until just combined (rough breadcrumb lookalike) add 3 egg yolks and pulse again until combined, remove from mixer and lightly knead to combine, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 mins in fridge.

Roll out dough to 5mm and bake at 160C until golden, remove and allow to cool. 

Add pastry and pistachio nuts in food processor and process until fine crumbs, set aside.

The meringue:

Combine 2 egg whites and 125g of castor sugar with a splash of cider vinegar and beat with electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

To serve:

Using a dessert spoon and your little finger make a thick line of the sable crumbs the length of the plate.
At either end of the plate place a piece of pear on the crumbs, onto these pipe a golf ball size quantity of meringue.

Using a hot wet spoon scoop brulee and place in center of plate. Using a teaspoon place a small pile of sugar on the brulee, now using a blowtorch burn the sugar on the brulee until it darkens and partially melts then lightly toast the meringue, now drizzle your reduced syrup on the plate.