Apple and Fennel Bisque

We are full into soup season.  I’m wearing oversized sweaters, drinking a plethora of hot beverages, and cuddling up with blankets while ignoring the sink full of dishes.  It is definitely time for some edible coziness.  Hmm, is that weird?  Probably, but let’s go with it! 

Apple and Fennel Bisque {Pedantic Foodie}

This soup encompasses the delicate flavors of the harvest season. Our soup situation begins with apples.  Hello pretty.

Apple and Fennel Bisque {Pedantic Foodie}

I chose several specimens of the Jonagold variety, but honestly, any sweet, baking apple will serve you just fine.  It is soup - don’t overcomplicate it.    

Fennel achieves a sort of complex sweetness when it is roasted.  It is an entirely different fennel than you have met in your spaghetti sauce.  I am pretty sure everything gets 200% more attractive after it has been roasted - by everything I mean vegetables.

Apple and Fennel Bisque {Pedantic Foodie}

Shallots and white wine join our charming duo and a heavy dose of salt is sprinkled.  After the wine has cooked for a bit we add chicken broth and simmer until our apples are nice and soft and the fennel is fork tender. 

Apple and Fennel Bisque {Pedantic Foodie}

This bisque becomes creamy and smooth by way of the blender.  If you do not have a blender, an immersion stick blender can be used, but it makes for a courser texture.   

Lastly, milk and butter come in to make everything silky smooth.  

Apple and Fennel Bisque {Pedantic Foodie}

Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some fennel fronds, if you so desire.  Pair this soup with an oversized sweater and a crackling fire.  The end. 

Happy soup season!  


   Pedantic Foodie



Apple and Fennel Bisque

serves 4-6 

- 2 large Jonagold apples, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)

- 2 fennel bulbs, washed and cubed with fronds removed

- 6 tablespoons olive oil 

- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

- 1 medium shallot, finely diced 

- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems, and stems discarded

- 1/2 cup dry white wine 

- 2 cups chicken broth 

- 1 cup whole milk 

- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


 Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

In a medium bowl toss to combine cubed fennel with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Spread the fennel out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake for 15-20 or until the fennel has softened.   

While the fennel is roasting, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat in the bottom of a heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven.  Add shallots and remaining kosher salt.  Cook until the shallots have become translucent, then add thyme and apples.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add white wine and fennel.  Cook for another 4 minutes to allow the wine to cook down slightly, then add chicken broth.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the apples and fennel are fork tender.  

Remove the soup from heat and transfer to a blender.  Blend until the soup is smooth and puréed, then return to saucepan.  Stir in milk and butter.   

To serve: drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and chopped fennel fronds.  Enjoy! 

Maple & Anise Mousse with Salted Pistachio Brittle

The gastronomic romanticist in me likes to believe that every ingredient has the potential to be delicious.  That an aversion to a certain food is merely the result of poor preparation rather than the ingredient itself.  

Though I know that this philosophy is in many ways strictly fanciful, I do believe that this theory is often reasonably accurate.  

Maple and Anise Mousse with Salted Pistachio Brittle  {Pedantic Foodie}

Meet Illicium Verum, or, as she is more commonly known, Star Anise.  She is the darling of the spice cabinet, yet so often she is unfairly disregarded.  

Let me take a moment to say that black, sticky, sugary candies have ruined many a palate’s appreciate for the delicate flavor of anise.  I was one such victim, until my eyes were opened by a small bowl of fluffy, creamy, oh-so-light, mousse in which anise made an appearance.  In short, please give anise a second chance. 

Maple and Anise Mousse with Salted Pistachio Brittle {Pedantic Foodie}

After trying that wonderful mousse I knew I had to recreate it and, after much recipe testing and reconstructing, success was achieved. 

Maple and Anise Mousse with Salted Pistachio Brittle {Pedantic Foodie}

This mousse is fragrant with the deep, rich, flavors of maple syrup and the anise provides a lovely, spicy after note.  It is light and not too sweet, making it the perfect dessert amongst the numerous pies and doughnuts this season offers.  I am already planning your Thanksgiving menu.  Too soon?

Maple and Anise Mousse with Salted Pistachio Brittle {Pedantic Foodie}

This mousse is topped with our incredibly addicting and versatile salted pistachio brittle.  The brittle adds a much appreciated textural element as well as a hint of salt.

I cannot begin to describe how phenomenal this mousse truly is.  Each flavor is perfectly balanced in a mousse so light and airy that you really cannot stop eating it. 

Maple and Anise Mousse with Salted Pistachio Brittle {Pedantic Foodie}

Let’s give gastronomical romanticism a chance, shall we?  


   Pedantic Foodie




Maple and Anise Mousse 

makes 6 

- 1/2 cup amber grade B maple syrup 

- 2 stars whole anise, depending on your taste

- 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

- 2 tablespoons filtered water 

- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream, divided 

- 4 fresh egg yolks 

- 2 fresh egg whites, cold

- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 

- pinch of kosher salt 

- salted pistachio brittle, for topping 

In a small bowl combine water and gelatin.  Reserve for later use.  

Combine egg yolks and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Beat on medium speed until the yolks begin to lighten in color, about 1-2 minutes. 

In a small saucepan combine maple syrup and star anise and place over medium high heat.  Bring the syrup to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until the syrup has darkened slightly in color and reduced to about 1/3 of a cup or has reached 225 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat and remove star anise.  

With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour syrup into the egg yolks.  Return the emptied syrup saucepan to the heat and place gelatin in the pan.  When the gelatin has melted, remove from heat and add to the mixture in the stand mixer.  Beat on medium high speed for 4-6 minutes, until the mixture is thick and fluffy and has tripled in volume.  

Gently fold the whipped maple mixture into a large bowl.  Clean the bowl and beater of your stand mixer and place egg whites in the cleaned bowl.  Beat on high speed, and slowly sprinkle in granulated sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks form, then transfer egg whites to a separate bowl and reserve.  

Beat 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream on high speed until thick and fluffy.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the maple mixture, rotating the bowl as you fold.  Fold in egg whites in two additions, working gently.  

Divide the mousse amongst six ramekins and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill in the refrigerator for two hours, until set.  

Beat remaining whipping cream to soft peaks and crumble brittle into small pieces.  When the mousse has set, top with whipped cream and brittle and serve.  Enjoy!  


Salted Pistachio Brittle

I firmly believe that when it comes to the world of sweets, salt should be present ninety percent of the time.  Salt is a powerful little crystal, it elevates and deepens flavors, it balances sweetness and, combined with sugar, is utterly irresistible.

Salted Pistachio Brittle {Pedantic Foodie}

Crunchy, buttery nuts are cooked and covered in sweet, crisp sugar - brittle is a nothing-can-go-wrong situation. 

Peanuts are not exactly my first choice when it comes to nuts.  Perhaps that is because peanuts are not actually nuts, but that’s another subject all together.  Pistachios, however, have always held my particular regard.  Their flavor is buttery and unique and I never get tired of their stunning chartreuse hue. 

Salted Pistachio Brittle {Pedantic Foodie}

Pistachios and flaky sea salt take this brittle to the next level.  The ratio of salty, to sweet, to crunch is ever-so addicting. 

Salted Pistachio Brittle {Pedantic Foodie}

While downloading the pictures for this post I sat at my desk and enjoyed a small piece of brittle.  I then walked back out to the kitchen and grabbed two pieces of brittle, and this situation repeated itself a large number of times.  It is positively delicious and nearly impossible to walk away from.  You have been warned. 

Happy Wednesday friends!


  Pedantic Foodie

Salted Pistachio Brittle

recipe adapted from bon appetite

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • flaky sea salt  (I used a Cyprus sea salt, but whatever strikes your fancy will do.)

Liberally grease a nonstick baking sheet with butter; set aside.  

In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and 3 tablespoons of water - whisk to combine.  Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.  Cook until the thermometer reads 290 degrees, about 3-5 minutes.  

Using a wooden spoon, stir in pistachios, butter, and kosher salt.  This will cause the syrup to seize at first but it will melt down.  Cook the syrup, stirring often, until the syrup has reaches 300 degrees and the pistachios have browned slightly, about 2-4 minutes.  The caramel will be a golden brown.  Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda.  As soon as the baking soda has been stirred into the caramel, pour out onto the greased baking sheet.  Use a heat-proof spatula to spread the brittle out.  

Before the brittle hardens, sprinkle the top with sea salt.  Once the brittle has cooled completely, break the brittle into pieces.  Store the brittle at room temperature in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper, this will keep the brittle from sticking together.  Brittle will store for up to a week, but honestly, there is no way it will be around for that long.  Enjoy!