The Oopsie Slushie

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

green apple and jasmine granita

Cute name aside, this recipe really was heading downhill until I hit upon the idea of turning it into a drink. You see, I was actually attempting to make a sorbet – without an ice-cream machine. If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a bit of a “jump-in-the-deep-end” kind of gal. I’d never made a sorbet before but how hard could it be? Um, a little bit hard apparently.

The whole thing started with jasmine. Thanks to the warmer weather, the Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) bush in the garden had started to flower. I’d been raring to try a very interesting technique to make perfumed water with jasmine flowers, as described by David Thompson in his book Thai Food (method below).

jasmine flowers

Inspired by my recent granita success, I thought I’d use the perfumed water to make a sorbet flavoured with green apple. This is where things started going a bit pear shaped (or apple shaped as the case may be). I had every intention of beating the sorbet mixture every hour for as long as it took but I’d started the process a little bit late in the evening. So I only managed four mixings/beatings before I went to bed – thinking I’d wake up and give it a good mix with the beaters and it would be still ok. The sorbet had other ideas. What I succeeded in making was an extremely smooth granita but a granita nonetheless.

Okaaaay, I could live with a granita instead of a sorbet, but then I tasted it. Have you ever had that happen? The effort, the anticipation, the hope, then the disappointment as the item you made didn’t taste anything like you’d imagined it would.

Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t taste bad but the flavours just weren’t working well together. I was hoping the green apple would have given an acid balance to the floral jasmine but the overall taste was one of overwhelming sweetness. And the apple flavour seemed to be jostling for supremacy against the jasmine scent.

Luckily, a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of soda water later – the problem was solved! And we even jazzed it up just for the adults by adding lime juice instead of lemon and a dash of rum. Mojito anyone?

the slushie

icy mojito version
Jasmine and green apple granita
(I’m posting the recipe anyway with the caveat that it is too sweet. Maybe you can re-mix it your way and let me know if you come up with a better flavour combo).

Perfumed Water
(abridged from Thai Food by David Thompson. I made a half portion using 11/2 cups water and 5 jasmine flowers.)
perfumed water
4 cups water
10 jasmine flowers or 1 cup less pungent flowers
2 ylang ylang flowers (optional)

Bring water to the boil. Cool then pour into a wide bowl.
Clean jasmine or other flowers then add to the water. If using ylang ylang flowers, briefly wilt them over a flame - this helps to release their perfume – before placing them in a small dish and floating them on the water. Seal bowl and leave overnight (I used a clean glass jar with a lid). Remove flowers before use.

- Cool boiled water absorbs more fragrance than straight tap water
- Only steep blossoms overnight as the fragrance becomes flat and dull after 24 hours.

jasmine in water
For the granita:
160g sugar
11/2 cups perfumed water
100ml green apple juice (from 1 green apple)

Instead of juicing the apple, I whizzed it in the food processor then sieved the mush to collect the juice – mainly because I couldn’t be bothered lugging out the juicer from the cupboard and cleaning it up afterwards.

Make a simple syrup by bringing the perfumed water and the sugar to a gentle simmer and stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Cool a little, then stir in the apple juice. (May benefit from the addition of lemon juice at this point).

Place in a freezer proof container then put into freezer for about an hour. Check to see if ice has started to form around the edges of the container. Beat with a whisk or beaters, or if you don’t mind a grainier version use a fork to scrape the ice and mix the liquid and ice together. Put back in freezer. Repeat the beating/mixing process again in about an hour, then again in another hour. When happy with the granita’s consistency, cover and freeze until ready to serve.

(Apparently, with a sorbet, you’re meant to beat it every half hour or so until it is ready, but mine seemed to take forever to freeze which is when I gave up and went to bed).


Hungry Dog said...

I really like the idea of turning jasmine into a drink, and green apples would definitely add a little tartness to such a perfumey scent. Lime and rum can solve any provlem.

Julia @ Mélanger said...

Wow, I would never have thought of pairing jasmine with apple. Fantastic! Looks so refreshing!

shaz said...

Hungry Dog - I like the way you think re: rum!

Thanks Julia, it really hit the spot, especially in this gorgeous weather we've been having.

Liz said...

Saaaaave! Sounds like a delicious accident--well done!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It looks so refreshing and delicious!



Juliana said...

Oh! Love the jasmine fragrance...such nice pictures you have and by the way, I will defitintely have a sip of mojito :-)

Megan@Feasting on Art said...

Oh what a wonderful accident. It is a very fancy apple juice. I bet the lime made it wonderful.

Sala @ Veggie Belly said...

what a unique combination of ingredients and a cute name indeed!

Justin said...

i can definitely relate to this post

shaz said...

Thanks Liz! I'm glad I didn't have to chuck it out - hate wasting food.

Thanks Rosa- It was very drinkable.

Thanks for the compliments Juliana -I'm still struggling to take pics that I think look good, so thanks for the pat on the back.

Cheers Megan - yes, very fancy schmancy apple juice.

Thanks Sala - cute? A bit like Veggie Belly :)

Cheers Justin - I read your sushi post, now I understand :)

Anh said...

Oh I am so envious! I would love to have some jasmine flowers! :)

Grace said...

excellent problem-solving skills! i'm glad you didn't let it go to waste. for the record, i have absolutely no idea how jasmine tastes, but i bet i'd like it. with rum. :)