Blueberries Surrounded by Their Nature
A recipe from Noma and chef Rene Redzepi
This recipe requires advanced techniques, accurate measurements using the metric system, specialist equipment, and professional experience to achieve good results. Though, to be honest, probably not the same results as you'll find at the just-announced—for the second consecutive year—best restaurant in the world, Noma.
*Trimoline is a type of sugar-based sweetener, used by many chefs in baking and in sorbets
**Spruce shoots are shoots of the spruce tree
***Granita is a frozen preparation, traditionally served as a dessert, made with water and a syrup base.
****Xanthan gum is a product derived from fermented starch, used as a thickening agent and to maintain solids in suspension within a liquid.
Mix the sugar, glucose, and water in a pan, heat to a syrup, then cool. Add the puree, the fresh berries, and the spruce shoots, blend and strain. Heat a very small amount of the berry mixture. Bloom the gelatin, then dissolve into the warm mixture and add to the rest. Place in Paco containers* in the refrigerator to set.
Spruce ice cream
Whisk together the sugar, trimoline, and egg yolks. Heat the cream, milk, and milk powder in a pan to 80˚C (178˚F) and pour it over the egg mixture. Pour back into the pans and cook, stirring, to make a custard. Bloom** the gelatin, add, and cool. When the mixture is cold, blend the spruce shoots into it and strain.
Heat the water and sugar to make a syrup. Cool, blend with the spruce shoots and sorrel, and pass through a fine sieve (strainer). Calculate the total weight and weigh out 0.1% of the quantity in xanthan gum. Sprinkle the xanthan into a small amount of the liquid and blend it until absorbed. Combine the 2 liquids and freeze in a deep tray. Once frozen, scrape to a powder with a fork.
Heat the milk to room temperature and dissolve the yeast in it. Add the flour, salt, eggs, and sugar and mix the dough thoroughly. Add the butter while mixing and let the mixture prove (rise) for an hour. Knock back (punch down) the dough and let it prove again for an hour. Grease a loaf tin, transfer the dough to the tin, and then prove again. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and bake for approximately 25 minutes. When cool, cut into 1-cm cubes.
Blanch*** the thyme on its stems for 4-5 minutes until very tender. Cool in ice water and pull the leaves off the stems. Strain to obtain the leaves, squeeze them through a Superbag**** and keep dry. Pick the parsley leaves and blanch them until tender. Dry as for the thyme. Process the oil and herbs at full speed at 60˚C (140˚F) in a Thermomix***** for 12 minutes. Cool, then macerate for 24 hours. Strain through a fine cloth, applying pressure for a few hours, and keep in a squeezy bottle.
Before serving, put the plates in the freezer to get very cold. Pick the wood sorrel and heather into ice water and dry them. Sauté the brioche until crisp and golden and cool on kitchen paper (paper towels). Process the ice cream in a Pacojet, shape into balls of approximately 25mm diameter and place 3 balls of blueberry sorbet and 2 balls of spruce ice cream on each plate. Surround with 5 brioche cubes and cover everything with two and a half tablespoon of granita and a tablespoon of thyme oil. Sprinkle the wood sorrel and heather on top.
*Paco containers are the receptacles used with a Pacojet.
A Pacojet is a machine used to make sorbets with a very fine texture, as well as other creations such as frozen powders
**To bloom (gelatin) is to soften gelatin leaves by soaking them for a few minutes in cold water.
***To blanch is to cook food, often vegetables, briefly in boiling water. Usually followed by ‘refreshing’, or plunging straight into cold water to stop the food cooking.
****A Superbag is a very fine mesh bag through which liquids can be strained and clarified.
*****A Thermomix is a food processor that can blend food at different temperatures.
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