Grapefruit mirroir, thai basil, brioche, and honey ginger ice cream

By Johnny Iuzzini, Executive Pastry Chef, Jean Georges Restaurant, NYC
As seen at the French Culinary Insitute’s grapefruit dessert demo


Grapefruit Mirroir
Zest from 3 grapefruits
1250 grams grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
125 grams sugar
15 grams apple pectin
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
4 gelatin sheets, bloomed and strained

In a pot, simmer juice and zest. Mix sugar and pectin together until well blended and add to the juice mixture. On a low simmer, reduce the liquid down to 750 grams, stopping to strain out and discard the zest halfway through cooking. Once fully reduced, whisk in the vanilla bean seeds and gelatin. Strain and chill.

Mixing the pectin with something granule (in this case, sugar) disperses the powder so it dissolves easily.

Thai Basil Oil
Thai basil leaves
Grapeseed oil

Blanch leaves in boiling water for approximately 30 seconds. Shock in ice water, squeeze out excess water, and place in a blender with a small amount of grapeseed oil. Mix on high speed until pureed. Place in a non-reactive container for 1 hour at room temperature. Strain through cheesecloth before using. Refrigerate and keep out of light to prolong the flavor.

Notes: Thai basil is licorice-scented and also used in Vietnamese cooking. Look for it in Asian supermarkets.

This technique can be used for any herb-infused oil.

Thai Basil Chiffonade
Thai basil leaves

Pile up leaves and fold along the vein. Using a sharp knife, finely slice the basil leaves. NO GRASS CLIPPINGS PLEASE (each slice should be finer than a blade of grass). Store chiffonade with a damp towel on top.

Brioche Croutons
brioche, cut into 1/2-inch small dice, left overnight to dry
olive oil
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of sugar

Preheat oven to 300°F. Toss brioche cubes in a small amount of olive oil with a pinch of kosher salt and sugar. Bake on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, tossing carefully and periodically, until golden brown. Cool and reserve.

Honey Ginger Ice Cream
220 grams honey
1 quart whole milk
200 grams heavy cream
60 grams ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
80 grams powdered glucose
50 grams powdered milk
120 grams egg yolks
10 grams sugar
5 grams stabilizer

In a pot, combine milk, cream, ginger, and vanilla beans. Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat. In a separate pot, caramelize the honey to deep amber and deglaze the pan with the milk mixture. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain into a clean pot, add the powdered glucose and milk powder and return to a simmer. Temper in yolks. Mix together the sugar and stabilizer and add to the milk mixture. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 180°F. Mix with an immersion blender, strain, and cool over an ice bath. Chill overnight and mix with an immersion blender one more time before spinning in an ice cream maker.

To serve

Lay three segments of grapefruit in a small bowl. Top with enough mirroir to cover 70% of the fruit. Chill and allow the mirroir to set. To serve, make a small quenelle (a football-shaped scoop) of honey ginger ice cream and place on top. Garnish with a few croutons, some strands of Thai basil chiffonade, and a drizzle of the Thai basil oil.