Cider shaved ice, rice puddling, apples, hazelnuts

Adapted by StarChefs.com
March 2019
Kakigori, a beloved Japanese dessert of shaved ice, syrup, and sweet toppings, is having a moment in American restaurants. In New York, Stephanie Prida is topping shaved ice with coconut and rum toffee at Lobster Club, and Theo Friedman and Gaston Becherano have an all-kakigori concept, Bonsai Kakigori. Katsuya Fukushima’s team serves kakigori at Haiden in D.C., and it’s on the dessert menu at David Chang’s Majordomo in L.A. At Cadence in Philly, Samantha Kincaid’s kakigori is a vegan showstopper that highlights sake lees and vinegar from Keepwell Vinegar, an artisanal producer in Dover, Pennsylvania, that’s run by Sarah Conezio and Rising Stars alum Isaiah Billington. Kincaid makes ice cylinders from Pennsylvania cider and filtered water (rather than water only, and seasoned with salt, of course) to boost flavor and further tie the Japanese dessert to Cadence’s home region.

INGREDIENTS:

Cider Ice:
Three Springs Farm cider
Filtered water
Cider Syrup:
Yield: about 3 cups or 9 servings
450 grams hazelnut oil
1 pinch xanthan gum
Salt
Cane sugar simple syrup
Candied Apple:
Three Springs Farms apples, peeled
Filtered water
Demerara sugar
Keepwell cider vinegar
Salt
1 sachet of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom
Sake Lees Rice Pudding:
Yield: 1 quart
1 cup Delta Blues brown rice grits
Cinnamon sticks, toasted
Filtered water
1 cup Keepwell sake kasu
100 grams cane sugar, plus additional as needed
1-inch knob ginger, grated
Salt
Fresh Apples:
Three Springs Farm GoldRush apples
Filtered water, acidified with ascorbic acid and chilled
For the Hazelnut Crumb:
Yield: ¾ cup
100 grams hazelnuts, oiled, salted, and toasted
50 grams demarara syrup
Sea salt
Freshly grated nutmeg
To Assemble and Serve:
Sherry vinegar syrup-poached kumquats à la Elizabeth Dahl

METHOD:

For the Cider Ice

Using a ratio of 4:3, cider to water, combine cider and water. Season with salt and freeze in pint containers. Using a kakigōri machine, shave ice and refreeze. 

For the Cider Syrup

In a Vitamix blender, combine cider and vinegar, and with the motor running, stream in oil and xanthan gum to emulsify. Season with salt, syrup, and additional vinegar. Strain and store in a squeeze bottle.

For the Candied Apple

Slice off the sides of the apples leaving the cores; discard cores. Using 3 parts filtered water, 1 part demerara sugar, and ½ part Keepwell cider vinegar, make a poaching liquid and season with salt. In a pot with the sachet, poach apples until slices are very soft but intact; cool in liquid. On a wire rack, drain apple slices in a single layer, leaving ample room for them to release as much liquid as possible. Transfer apple slices to acetate sheet and dry in a 130°F-dehydrator for several hours or overnight, depending on thickness, until the fruit is the texture of soft gummy candy. Cover and refrigerate Candied Apple. The slices will tighten up slightly as they cool. Cut into small to medium dice. 

For the Sake Lees Rice Puddiing

To a pot with grits and several cinnamon sticks, add water until grits are covered to 6 times their depth. Over low heat, cook until creamy, stirring occasionally; cool. In a separate pot, combine sake kasu, cane sugar, and ginger and cover with 2 times that depth in water. Simmer until the faint alcohol aroma dissipates and the mixture is creamy; remove from heat and cool. Transfer mixture to a Vitamix blender and purée. Season with salt and cane sugar. Strain through a chinois and chill. (The mixture will be loose from blending but will tighten up when chilled.)To a pot with grits and several cinnamon sticks, add water until grits are covered to 6 times their depth. Over low heat, cook until creamy, stirring occasionally; cool. In a separate pot, combine sake kasu, cane sugar, and ginger and cover with 2 times that depth in water. Simmer until the faint alcohol aroma dissipates and the mixture is creamy; remove from heat and cool. Transfer mixture to a Vitamix blender and purée. Season with salt and cane sugar. Strain through a chinois and chill. (The mixture will be loose from blending but will tighten up when chilled.) 

For the Fresh Apples

Holding an apple in one hand, and using a sharp paring knife, carefully shave small petals from the apple, incorporating a thin layer of skin as much as possible, but utilizing all the crisp fruit. Store petals in acidified water. Repeat with remaining apples.

For the Hazelnut Crumb

Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize hazelnuts. Remove nuts from mortar and add sugar and sea salt. Grind with pestle to a powder. Combine powder and nuts and season with nutmeg and more salt.  

To Assemble and Serve

Around the bottom of a small bowl and ½ inch up the sides, spread 2 teaspoons Sake Lees Rice Pudding. Dust pudding with Hazelnut Crumb. Scatter several pieces each of Fresh Apple and Candied Apple on top. Loosely top with several scoops of shaved Cider Ice (about 1 cup), forming a small mountain peak. Evenly coat peak with 75 grams Cider Syrup. Cover about two-thirds of the peak with more ice. Quickly garnish with several more pieces Fresh and Candied Apple. Generously dust entire peak with Hazelnut Crumb. Finish with kumquats.