2000s Recipes + Menus

Apple Celery Granita

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:3 1/2 hr
The best desserts are those that manage to be sweetly satisfying while also containing an element of surprise, and this unique granita certainly fits the bill. We first had a version of it at Manhattan’s Wallsé, and were stunned by the interplay among the bright, verdant mix of apple and celery with the richness of olive oil and the heat of grated horseradish. (Here, we’ve substituted wasabi for the horseradish.) It’s a truly sophisticated way to end a meal.
July 2007
  • 1 (1,000-mg) vitamin C tablet (ascorbic acid), crushed to a powder with back of a spoon (see cook’s note, below)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Granny Smith apples (1 1/2 pounds), cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick sticks (see cook’s note, below)
  • 6 medium celery ribs without leaves (1 lb)
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste or powdered wasabi
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • Flaky sea salt such as Maldon
  • 1-2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • Equipment:

    an electric juice extractor
  • Put crushed vitamin C and sugar in a 1-quart container that will fit under spout of juicer.
  • Using juicer, juice apples and celery into container. Spoon off foam and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour into an 8- to 9-inch square stainless-steel or glass baking pan and freeze until partially frozen, about 1 hour. Scrape and stir with a fork, crushing any lumps. Continue to freeze, scraping once or twice, until evenly frozen, about 2 hours more.
  • Stir together wasabi and enough water to make a pourable sauce.
  • Scrape granita to lighten, then serve sprinkled lightly with sea salt and drizzled lightly with oil and wasabi sauce.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is available in powdered form at pharmacies and natural foods stores (for 1,000 mg, use 1/2 teaspoon). It will prevent the apple juice from turning brown.
  • It is not necessary to remove skin or seeds from apple sticks.
  • Granita can be made 2 days ahead and kept frozen, covered with plastic wrap once frozen. Scrape before serving.
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