Apple Cornbread Napoleon
Mario Batali's Fried Cornbread Napoleon and Brown Butter Apples
- For the Mascarpone:
- 1 pint Mascarpone
- 1 cup Whipped Cream
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips
For the Cornbread:
- 1 cup Fine Polenta
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/3 cup White Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Baking Powder
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 2/3 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/3 cup Butter (melted)
- 2 tablespoons Honey
- 4 Eggs
- 2 1/2 cups Milk
- Olive Oil
- 1/2 stick of Butter (for frying)
For the Apples:
- 5 tablespoons Butter
- 2 crisp tart Apples like Granny Smith or Pink Lady (peeled sliced into 1/8-inch slices)
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/3 cup Calvados (Apple Brandy)
- For the Mascarpone: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fold together the mascarpone and whipped cream. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- For the Cornbread: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the polenta, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, melted butter, honey, eggs and milk.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet just to combine. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean (a touch undercooked just means extra moist cornbread).
- Let the cornbread cool completely. Slice the cornbread into 1/4-inch thick slices. Cut rectangles about 2-inches x 4-inches. You will need 3 to 4 slices of cornbread per Napoleon.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of butter to a large non-stick saute pan and heat over medium-high heat. Once the butter is foamy add the slices of cornbread, working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the slices are deep golden brown. Remove from pan and continue to work in batches, adding more butter as necessary.
- For the Apples: In another large saute pan, add the butter and cook until light golden brown over medium heat. Add the apple slices and brown sugar and toss to coat. Turn the heat up to high. Remove the pan from the stove and add the calvados.
- Return the pan to the heat and bring the liquid up to a simmer and reduce for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and stir to emulsify. Once the sauce is thick and syrupy, remove the pan from the heat.
- Assemble the Napoleons. Place a piece of the cornbread down, browned side up. Smear with 2 tablespoons of mascarpone and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips. Layer with another piece of cornbread, mascarpone and chocolate chips. Top with a final piece of cornbread and then spoon the warm apples on top of the Napoleon.