Grapefruit-tarragon millefeuille

By Johnny Iuzzini, Executive Pastry Chef, Jean Georges Restaurant, NYC
As seen at the French Culinary Insitute’s grapefruit dessert demo

Grapefruit-tarragon millefeuille

Pate Sable
550 grams all-purpose flour
150 grams sugar
2 grams salt
350 grams unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 egg yolks
zest from 1 grapefruit
25 milliliters water

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yolks, zest, and water and mix until dough comes together. Do not overmix. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least two hours. Preheat oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into rectangles using a ruler as a guide. Chill again, dock, and bake on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan covered with another piece of parchment paper and a Silpat. Bake until golden brown. Cool and reserve.

Citrus Sponge
8 large eggs
6 egg yolks
zest from 3 oranges
zest from 3 lemons
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
418 grams sugar
450 grams almond flour
40 grams pastry cream powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine eggs and yolks. Rub together sugar, zests, and the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add the sugar mixture to the eggs and whip to pale ribbon stage. Change to the paddle attachment. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the egg mixture, mixing to regain volume. Bake on a Silpat-lined sheet pan until barely golden. Unmold immediately. Cool and cut into rectangles the same size as the sable and chocolate sheets.

Level the batter using an offset spatula, and go only in one direction to keep the volume.

White Chocolate Leaves
tempered white chocolate

Using a large offset spatula, spread tempered white chocolate very thinly on a plastic sheet. When chocolate has set, cut into proper sized rectangles. Flip sheet and weigh it down with a heavy tray. Allow the chocolate to set for at least four hours before using.

Grapefruit Confit
1 grapefruit
250 grams sugar
250 grams water
50 grams glucose or corn syrup

Peel strips of grapefruit skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut most of the white pith from the grapefruit rinds and discard. Thinly julienne the peel, place in a pot of cold water, and bring to a boil. Strain and repeat two more times. Combine water, sugar, and glucose, and bring to a boil. Add julienned peel and return to a quick boil. Lower heat and simmer until the zest is almost translucent. Chill and reserve.

It’s tedious to cook the peel three times, but it removes the bitterness.

Tarragon Pastry Cream
50 grams of tarragon, leaves only
1 quart whole milk, plus additional if necessary
250 grams sugar
75 grams flan powder or cornstarch
2 large eggs

In a pot, combine milk and tarragon and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Mix with an immersion blender, strain, and measure volume. Add additional milk to regain 1 quart volume. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flan powder, and eggs. Temper egg mixture into the milk mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for an additional minute. Transfer pastry cream to a plastic wrap covered tray, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Lightened Tarragon Cream

225 grams tarragon pastry cream
75 grams heavy cream
1 gelatin sheet, bloomed and strained

Warm a small amount of the cream in the microwave and combine with gelatin to melt. Whip remaining cream to medium to firm peaks and fold in the gelatin mixture. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream in two additions. Chill and reserve.

Glazed Grapefruit
grapefruit segments
orange nappage (glaze)
grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed

In a saucepan, heat orange nappage with enough grapefruit juice to thin consistency and give a distinct grapefruit flavor. Arrange two grapefruit segments so that they are overlapping. Brush with warm glaze and allow to set. Repeat with all segments and reserve.

To Serve

Pipe a small dollop of tarragon cream on the plate. Place a sable rectangle on top followed by a rectangle of sponge cake. Place two segments of glazed grapefruit on top followed by a sheet of white chocolate. Pipe 8 “kisses” of tarragon cream and top again with another sheet of white chocolate. Garnish with the candied grapefruit rind and a drizzle of tarragon oil.