Pastry Chef Karen Urie Shields
Town House Restaurant
132 East Main Street
Chilhowie, VA 24319
(276) 646-8787

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Parsnip  Candy, Coconut, Yeast Sponge, Banana, Maca Crumbs, and Lemongrass
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  • Karen Urie Shields

    Parsnip Candy, Coconut, Yeast Sponge, Banana, Maca Crumbs, and Lemongrass
    Pastry Chef Karen Urie Shields of Town House Restaurant – Chilhowie, VA
    Adapted by
    Yield: 30 Servings


    Parsnip Candy:
    4 cups sugar
    1 quart water
    ½ cup honey

    Parsnip Ice Cream: (yield: 3 ½ quarts)
    1.8 kilograms milk
    600 grams cream
    900 grams parsnips, peeled and shredded
    4 grams guar gum
    4 grams salt

    Lemongrass Sherbet: (yield: 1 quart)
    6 stalks lemongrass
    1.1 kilograms skim milk
    100 grams sugar
    2 grams salt

    Banana Pudding: (yield: 1 ½ pints)
    470 grams milk
    470 grams cream
    8 bananas
    2 grams salt
    1 vanilla bean
    6 grams agar
    53 grams sugar
    3 egg yolks

    Aerated Coconut: (yield: 1 ½ quarts)
    400 grams coconut milk
    300 grams coconut powder
    250 grams water
    100 grams sugar
    ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
    3 grams salt
    8 sheets gelatin

    Chewy Almond Cookie: (yield: 105 cookies)
    250 grams almond meal
    300 grams powdered sugar
    200 grams egg whites
    200 grams granulated sugar
    10 grams almond extract

    Parsnip Chips:
    Acidulated water
    Granulated sugar

    Maca Crumbs: (yield: 1 ½ quarts, ground)
    3 cups cake flour
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 cup maca powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    12 ounces cold butter, cubed

    Yeast Sponge:
    187 grams cake flour
    262 grams sugar
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1½ teaspoons baking powder
    13 grams dry yeast
    85 grams butter, melted
    205 grams buttermilk
    90 grams egg whites

    To Assemble and Serve:
    Wild carrot blossoms
    Powdered coconut

    For the Parsnip Candy:
    Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Peel the parsnips, and then cut them to the desired size. Combine the sugar, water and honey in a medium pot and bring them to a boil. Gently simmer the parsnips until tender, about 3 hours. Drain the parsnips, reserving liquid for the parsnip ice cream. Put the parsnips on a Silpat-lined sheet tray and slowly candy for 1 to 1½ hours.

    For the Parsnip Ice Cream:
    Warm the milk and cream. Steep the parsnips in the milk mixture for several hours or overnight. Strain. Blend in 400 grams of the reserved parsnip syrup from the parsnip candy, then blend in the guar gum and salt using a blender. Freeze. Pass through an ice cream machine and freeze again.

    For the Lemongrass Sherbet:
    Bruise the lemongrass with the back of a knife and then slice it. Combine the milk and sugar in a large pot and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Steep the lemongrass in the milk for several hours or overnight. Season with the salt and freeze. Pass through an ice cream machine and freeze again.

    For the Banana Pudding:
    Combine the milk, cream, bananas, salt, and the whole vanilla pod, left unsplit, in a large pot. Bring to a full boil, cover and steep for several hours or overnight. Strain the liquid, then add the agar, and bring to a full boil for 10 seconds. Whisk the sugar and yolks together in a separate bowl. Temper the egg yolk mixture with the hot milk mixture, then strain. Chill the pudding until set, and then blend to a smooth purée in a blender.

    For the Aerated Coconut:
    Blend the coconut milk, coconut powder, water, sugar, xanthan gum and salt. Bloom the gelatin in cold water. Heat up a small amount of the coconut purée, and dissolve the gelatin in it. Freeze in Pacojet containers and then spin. Vacuum seal the mixture in a vacuum-seal bag to remove the air, until the mixture reaches the surface. Freeze immediately.

    For the Chewy Almond Cookie:
    Preheat the oven to 320ºF. Whisk the almond meal and powdered sugar together. Whip the egg whites to a soft peak, then slowly add the granulated sugar and whip to a stiff peak. Combine the egg white mixture and the almond meal mixture, and add the almond extract. Pipe quarter-sized circles of the batter onto a Silpat-lined sheet tray. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

    For the Parsnip Chips:
    Preheat the oven on the lowest setting. Peel the parsnips, and slice them thinly into the acidulated water using a mandolin. Drain the parsnips, sprinkle them with sugar and lay them on a Silpat-lined sheet tray. Dehydrate them in the oven until crispy.

    For the Maca Crumbs:
    Preheat the oven to 310ºF. Combine the cake flour, sugar, maca powder and salt in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, and mix until combined. Add the butter and continue to mix until crumbly. Bake the crumble on a parchment-lined sheet tray in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool the crumble, and then grind it in robot coupe to a powder.

    For the Yeast Sponge:
    Combine the cake flour, 187 grams of the sugar, salt, baking powder, and yeast in a bowl. Mix in the melted butter and buttermilk. Whip the egg whites, slowly adding the remaining sugar, until you reach a stiff peak. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into each ramekin, and bake in the microwave for 20 seconds. Serve hot.

    To Assemble and Serve:
    Plate the candy, ice cream, sherbet, cookie, chips, crumbs, aerated coconut, banana pudding and sponge, highlighting the organic nature of the dish. The aim is to show off the varying textures, leaving the guest to discover some surprise below the surface.