Birch Granita with Pickled Blueberries and Rhubarb Foam

You know that fresh smell of the woods on a freezing-cold winter day? Did you ever want to transfer precisely that smell into a dessert? Well, I’ve done it for you and have created this Nordic flavor explosion. This is a simple and fresh dessert that could also be served as a palate cleanser between courses. Now breathe in and taste the North.

Reprinted with permission from From the North by Katrin Björk, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Photo credit: Katrin Björk

By / Photography By Katrín Björk | June 01, 2018

Ingredients

For the Granita
  • 2 cups (500 milliliters) water
  • ⅓ cup (65 grams) sugar
  • 1 green apple, cubed
  • ⅓ cup dried birch leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Blueberries
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) water
  • ⅓ cup (80 milliliters) vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon (25 grams) sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 cup (150 grams) blueberries
For the Rhubarb Foam
  • ½ cup (120 milliliters) Rhubarb Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon soy lecithin

Preparation

For the Granita

Bring the water, sugar, apple and birch leaves to a boil in a saucepan. Lower the heat to medium–low and let simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the apple is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep with a lid on for 30 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the lemon juice and purée. Press through a sieve into a shallow baking dish and place the mixture in the freezer for 2 hours. After 2 hours, stir, break up and shave the granite with a fork every 30 minutes for the next 2 to 3 hours. When you have an icy crumble, pack it loosely in a closed container and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

For the Blueberries

Bring the water, vinegar, sugar, cloves and cardamom pods to a boil then lower the heat to medium–low and let simmer until the sugar has dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes. Place the blueberries in a mason jar or other airtight container and pour the warm liquid over them. Let stand on the kitchen counter until the mixture has reached room temperature, then place in the refrigerator. Let pickle in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.

For the Rhubarb Foam

Pour the rhubarb syrup into a bowl, sprinkle with lecithin and use an immersion blender to whisk until foam forms. Tilt the bowl a little so that only two-thirds of the blender is immersed in the liquid, that way plenty of air gets in the mix to create the bubbles. The foam will stay firm for about 1 hour, so I recommend making it close to serving time.

Instructions

Assemble the Dish

Arrange the granita and pickled blueberries on plates and garnish generously with rhubarb foam.

Ingredients

For the Granita
  • 2 cups (500 milliliters) water
  • ⅓ cup (65 grams) sugar
  • 1 green apple, cubed
  • ⅓ cup dried birch leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Blueberries
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) water
  • ⅓ cup (80 milliliters) vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon (25 grams) sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 cup (150 grams) blueberries
For the Rhubarb Foam
  • ½ cup (120 milliliters) Rhubarb Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon soy lecithin
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