Oka saganaki with maple loukoumades

By Bianca Osbourne
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SERVES
6

Ingredients

Maple loukoumades:

  • 1/2 ounce (15 g) dry active yeast
  • 1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm milk
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) olive oil
  • 3-3/4 cup (890 ml) flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) maple syrup, warm
  • 1 cup (240 ml) maple sugar flakes, to garnish

Fried Oka cheese saganaki:

  • 6 cubes of Oka cheese, no rind (1 x 1 x 1 in/2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm)
  • Cornstarch, for dredging
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Ouzo, for flambéing

Citrus apple butter:

  • 3 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 oranges, juice and zest
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) ice wine
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/8 teaspoon (.75 ml) salt

Raspberry powder:

  • 2 cups (470 ml) raspberries

Directions

  1. For the raspberry powder, set a dehydrator or drying oven to 130°F (54°C), spread the raspberries on tray, leaving space between them, and dehydrate for 48 hours.
  2. After dehydrating, let sit for two hours at room temperature.
  3. Process the dried berries to a fine powder in a spice grinder.
  4. For the citrus apple butter, in a saucepan, combine the apples, sugar, water, ice wine, lemon juice, and the juice from one orange, and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, until the apples are soft and the liquid has evaporated, then remove from heat.
  5. Rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  6. Add to food processor with salt, juice from remaining orange, and the zest from all.
  7. Blend the mixture until smooth. Then, while continuing to blend, add the cubes of butter one at a time.
  8. Refrigerate until it has set lightly, then hold at room temperature to serve.
  9. For the maple loukoumades, combine the yeast, a quarter cup (60 ml) of water, and the sugar, and bloom for 10 minutes.
  10. Add remaining water, and the milk and oil, and stir. Add the flour and salt, and mix until well combined. Let rise for one hour in a slightly warm environment.
  11. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy pot to 350°F (175°C).
  12. Use a 1-1/2 ounce (45 ml) scoop to form a perfectly circular ball and deep fry for one to two minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  13. Drain briefly, then transfer, while hot, to the warm maple syrup to soak for several minutes. Keep warm.
  14. Dust the top with flaked maple sugar.
  15. For the fried Oka cheese saganaki, dredge the cheese in cornstarch.
  16. Heat oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Sear the cheese cube on all sides, 15 seconds per side, or until starting to crisp and warm through. Do not allow to melt.
  17. Flambé with Ouzo for one minute, or until flame dies.
  18. To serve, use a small sieve to dust raspberry powder in the centre of a large white round plate.
  19. Place a cube of fried Oka cheese saganaki over the powder.
  20. Top the cheese with a little bit of citrus apple butter, letting it lightly run down the sides.
  21. Place a maple loukamade over the top of the cheese, making sure the maple sugar flakes are at the top.

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