Foraging gets me really excited. Especially, when it can be done in my mother-in-law’s garden. In May, when the woodruff blooms, she’s kind enough to let me pick a couple of stems. That’s not all she’s sharing, though. She thought me how she extracts the typical woodruff flavor: She infuses flower clusters together with slices of orange and lemon in white wine. In this dish, the lemon notes are echoed in the lemon balm also giving its flavor to the granita. The orange notes are reflected in the cake and the custard served next to the granita.
Granita: Let ten to twelve clusters of woodruff flowers infuse with 1 sliced orange and 1/2 sliced lemon as well as 150 ml Prosecco until the blossom wilts and turns brown. This won’t take more than a couple of hours. Press out the juices of the fruits and strain through a sieve into a freezer container.
Simultaneously, boil 150 ml water. Pour over three lemon balm stems and 50 g sugar and let infuse until at room temperature. Strain through a sieve into the woodruff and mix. Freeze for two hours and then loosen up the frozen parts with a fork by drawing ice from the edges towards the center. Repeat a couple of times twice an hour until the granita has obtained its characteristic ice crystals.
Custard: Mix 450 ml orange juice with 2 tbsp cornstarch, 2 tsp vanilla extract and 50 g sugar. Gently heat and allow the custard to thicken. Don’t boil or the orange might turn bitter. Add 50 ml cream and allow to cool completely.
Cake: Mix 2 eggs with 50 g melted butter, 50 ml orange juice, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp baking powder, 50 g sugar and 100 g whole-wheat flour. Divide into six cups and bake separately at 700 W for 60 seconds.
Assembly: Serve the granita next to a cake topped with custard. Decorate the custard with forget-me-not blossom.