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Culinary Travel / Signature Dishes

Signature Dish: Baked Alaska from Delmonico’s

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This morning on Peter Greenberg Worldwide broadcast from Delmonico’s in New York’s Financial District. We’ve all heard the term iconic but few restaurants can wear the crown like Delmonico’s. It’s America’s oldest restaurant, opened in 1827, an is responsible for renowned dishes like Baked Alaska, Lobster Newburg and Eggs Benedict.

This weekend, Peter sat down with Chef Bill Oliva to learn about his take on these iconic dishes. And you too can have a taste of these iconic dishes when you follow Oliva’s recipe for Baked Alaska.

Walnut Sponge

  • 8 oz. Egg Yolks
  • 5 oz. Sugar
  • 8 oz. Egg Whites
  • 6 oz. Sifted All Purpose Flour
  • 5oz. Chopped Walnuts

Combine egg yolks with 2oz. sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until thick and light in color.

In another bowl beat egg whites with remaining sugar to medium peaks.

Gently fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture.

Fold sifted flour and chopped walnuts into egg mixture.

Spread batter on parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 425 degrees
For 10-15 minutes.

When cooled completely cut into 3inch rounds and set aside.

Apricot Compote

  • 1lb.dried apricots ( roughly chopped )
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 vanilla pod split lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Zest of 1 orange

Put all compote ingredients into heavy bottom pan and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer till apricots are cooked and liquid forms a syrup.

Banana Ice Cream

  • 1.5 pints milk
  • 1.5 pints heavy cream
  • 12oz. sugar
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 6oz. puree banana

Place milk, cream half the sugar and vanilla bean in saucepan and bring mixture to boiling point.

Blend egg yolks with remaining sugar.

Temper the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture.

Add banana puree and heat slowly till mixture thickens to coat back of spoon.

Stain mixture and allow to cool in ice bath- refrigerate overnight.

Prepare mixture in ice cream machine – reserve in freezer till assembly.

Italian Meringue

  • 1 lb. Sugar
  • 4oz. Water
  • 8 oz. Egg whites

Combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring mixture to 240 degrees.

Put egg whites in bowl of mixer and start to beat when sugar reaches 230 degrees – whip egg whites to soft peaks.

Start to add sugar syrup to egg whites in steady stream and continue beating to all sugar syrup has been incorporated into mixture.

Continue beating till mixture has smooth consistency and firm peaks.

Assembly

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place walnut cake rounds on a serving plate.

Top walnut cake rounds with apricot compote.

Scoop a generous portion of Banana ice cream onto apricot compote.

Place Italian Meringue in pastry bag and completely cover the ice cream, walnut cake and compote with meringue.

Bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 4 minutes or until meringue is slightly browned and crispy.

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