Continuing down my Thanksgiving menu we arrive at a dish that, admittedly, isn’t for everyone—an Apple and Celery Granita. But before you write it off, you should try it. It is good. In the 80’s my mom worked at a restaurant that was really into palate cleansers between courses. Usually in the form of sorbet or granita. The idea being that the small serving of sorbet would serve as a refreshing break between courses so that you get a fresh start before proceeding onto the next dish. At the time I was 10 and found it exciting to eat sorbet in the middle of a meal. There is something I still like about this idea of orchestrating a meal and providing things like intermissions. It feels very theatrical to me.
I found this recipe for a granita to be served after the Thanksgiving feast in the November issue of Gourmet. Bryan’s favorite food is celery so it seemed pretty perfect. The reviews were mixed, although everyone agreed it was interesting. I think the recipe as written was too salty for most people’s taste and so I have altered it a bit. I think that this is definitely something to try and experiment with, granitas are fun and easy to make.The best part was that this really did get me ready for dessert, which will be coming your way tomorrow.
Apple and Celery Granita
- 1 tablet vitamin C (1000mg) ascorbic acid
- 3 Granny Smith apples, seeds removed and very coarsley chopped
- 2/3 cup water, divided
- 1 tblespoon chopped taragon
- 4 cups very coarsley chopped celery ribs
Crush vitamin C tablet in a bowl with the back of a spoon, then line a sieve with dampened flour sack cloth and set over a bowl.
Puree apples with 1/3 cup water in a food processor(do not use a blender) until almost smooth, then pour into cloth. Bunch up cloth around mixture and squeeze as much clear juice as possible through the cloth (about 2 cups). Discard solids remaining in cloth. Rinse and wring out cloth, then return to sieve.
Puree tarragon with remaining 1/3 cup of water in processor until the water is deep green, then add celery and puree until almost smooth. Pour into lined sieve and squeeze out juices (about 1 1/2 cups) into bowl with apple juice. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Freeze mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish, scraping and stirring with a fork every 30 minutes, until frozen, at least 3 hours.