Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Shiso Apple Granita

Japanese Shiso also known as Perilla is a herb of the mint family. Its cousin Tia To (with a purple-garnet underside) is often used in Vietnamese cuisine as garnish in grilled meat or egg roll and noodle dishes. Both offer fragrant hints of cinnamon, mint and lemon.

Inspired by Jerry Traunfeld 's "The herbal kitchen" I made this granita with Granny Smith Apple and shiso leaves and some Meyer lemon juice and sugar - quite a 'twist' ;-) and a perfect fit I think for the  Weekend Herb Blogging # 236 hosted by Briciole 

4 servings
- 2 Granny Smith apples, about 1 lb, unpeeled, cored and diced, plus another half for garnish/topping
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 6 large green shiso leaves, plus one cut into thin strands for garnish

1. Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir constantly until the syrup starts to boil. Let it cool completely.
2. Core the apple and dice (unpeeled). Cut up the shiso pleaves.
3. Puree the diced apple, shiso leaves and syrup in a blender (not a food processor) on high speed until they are liquefied.
4. Pour the puree into a a fne sive set over ablowl, and press the liquid through with the back of a rubber spatula, squeezing the pulp to extract as much liquid as possible. Immediately freeze the liquid in an ice cream maker. When slushy firm, scoop it into a container and store it in the freezer until serving time, This will give more of a sorbet texture.
5. Alternatively, just pour the liquid into a flat container and  freeze. Every hour or so take it out and mush it  up with a fork for a granita texture.Do so a couple of times or more if you are more patient. :-)
6. Scoop the sorbet or granita into glasses and top with thin strips of raw crisp apple and a few strands of shiso and serve immediately.

The topping of crunchy apple and fragrant shiso leaves is definitely a must for this tasty granita.


  1. Hints of cinnamon, mint and lemon: this sounds wonderful. Thank you for your informative post. Your granita is a perfect offering for the summer.

  2. This is gorgeous! I've shiso leaves for ume-shiso rolls, but would love to save a few for your recipe.



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