This is a seasonal installment of the "granita over aerated mousse" combo that has appeared in Blood orange, yogurt, pine nut
and Skyr cream, rhubarb granita, sour cherry honey, pine nut previously. I served this version on a
menu in winter when great citrus is available. This version uses tangerines, but really any similar seasonal citrus would work well here. The interesting garnish here is dried tangerine peel,
a traditional ingredient in Chinese cooking also known as chenpi. Traditionally, tangerine peels are sun-dried and then aged
for many many years - I served a 1-year old batch, which adds a unique element to the meal that can't be easily reproduced. They taste of citrus but can also be rather bitter so they are used
sparingly in this recipe. Aged tangerine peels are easy to make with a dehydrator (or the sun, if you have reliable access!), but can also be purchased in Chinese markets. The modernist twist
here if you choose to make your own is the optional use of an enzyme called Pectinex Ultra SP-L,
which breaks down pectin and yields perfect peels with no pith remaining. It can also be used in juice clarification. Pectinex is typically not measured with high precision, instead "a few dashes"
typically does the trick, and using more is better than less as it simply accelerates the process.
Click for larger image
Yields ~6-8 servings.
For the aged tangerine peel:
Tangerine peels, removed in one piece if possible
Pectinex Ultra SP-L (optional)
For the coconut cream:
400g coconut milk (~ 1 can)
150g coconut cream
With the milk+cream at 100%:
55g sugar (10%)
0.5g xanthan gum (0.1%)
1.5 sheets gelatin
For the tangerine granita:
50g tangerine peel, removed with peeler
290g tangerine juice
Aged tangerine peel
Tangerine, for zesting
Immersion circulator (optional)
Prepare the aged tangerine peel (optional; indefinitely in advance):
Trim excess pith from the tangerine peels with a knife (reserve the fruit for another use, or eat as a snack). To remove the pith as effectively as possible, optionally combine the peels with
water to cover in a vacuum bag and add several drops of Pectinex Ultra SP-L, then treat sous vide in a 104F bath for 30m; remove and scrape away loose pith. Dehydrate peels for 10h @ 125F,
or until completely dry. Reserve in airtight container indefinitely.
Prepare the coconut cream (up to 1d in advance):
Bloom the gelatin in a bowl of cold water for 5m. Add the coconut milk and cream to a pot. Dry-blend the salt, sugar, and xanthan gum, and add to the pot; blend to combine with an immersion blender.
Squeeze excess water from the gelatin, add to the pot and stir until melted. Heat to 122F to hydrate the gelatin. Blend once more until smooth. Transfer to a siphon and chill in an ice bath. Chill
Prepare the tangerine granita (1d in advance):
Combine the water and sugar and bring up to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let cool. Transfer to a container, add the tangerine peels, and infuse in the refrigerator at least 3h.
When the infused syrup is cool, remove and discard peels, and stir in the fresh tangerine juice. Weigh and set at 100%; stir in 0.4% malic acid. Add the mixture to a wide container and set in the
freezer. Scrape with a fork towards the center every 40 minutes to get good crystal formation. Freeze until needed.
Freeze serving bowls, ideally 24h in advance. Toast the walnuts until fragrant but not browning, then let cool and chop finely. Rehydrate one or two tangerine peels in boiling water for 2m, then
drain and dice. Charge the coconut cream and shake well; The mousse should be relatively stable and hold its shape (charge twice if necessary). Dispense some coconut cream into the bottom of a
frozen serving bowl. Scrape the granita with the fork in a mound to cover the cream. Top with the crushed walnuts, tangerine peel dice, and fresh tangerine zest.