Just last April, Agern opened up its doors in NYC’s Grand Central Terminal. Icelandic chef Gunnar Gíslason of internationally acclaimed New Nordic restaurant Dill heads the kitchen, sharing some of culinary magic with Manhattan dwellers. Here we have Gunnar’s recipe for buttermilk ice cream – in a way you’ve probably never had before.
“It’s a long one…Started back in the days at Dill. A collaboration between Villi, my sous chef at the time (now owner at the amazing Souvenir Restaurant in Belgium) and myself. At the time, it was kind of a crazy idea, but it doesn’t seem that strange today. Times change I guess, and now it’s a collaboration between Agern’s super talented pastry chef Isabel and myself.
The idea came probably around five years ago. I’m sure it had something to do with a couple of glasses of good wine and a whole lot of talking – boy, that man [Villi] can talk. And the greatest thing about it was that we managed to make an outstanding apple cider while collaborating on that plate…or at least that’s how I remember it. Here at Agern, I wanted to play with the same flavors, so I talked to our pastry chef Isabel and explained the idea, the flavors and textures I had in mind. She came up with a couple of ideas and we tried a couple version of it until we felt it was great. It didn’t take long. It wasn’t hard. It was most definitely very natural. The outcome made me super happy. Creating plates is easy when you have crazy talented people around you like Isabel and a solid base from back in the days.” – Gunnar Gíslason
In a pot, reduce the sugar and 250g of whey until nicely golden and caramelized.
Once caramelized, add 50g of whey and salt and cool down.
1g agar agar
7g horseradish juice
1.5g glucose powder
0.2g Xanthan gum
Mix water and agar agar in a pot. Heat and stir until agar dissolves.
Pour into a container sitting in an ice bath, and let it set until it is hard.
Put in a blender with the horseradish juice and sugar and blend until smooth.
Add the Xanthan gum at the end.
65g apple purée
2g gellan gum
0.2g citric acid
In a pot, mix whey and apple purée and bring to a boil.
Place in a blender at high speed and then add the gellan gum into the vortex. Blend on high speed for about 30 seconds.
Add sugar and continue blending for another 30 seconds.
Put in a small container and cool on ice.
Once it is cold, put back in the blender and add acid and salt, blend well, and then strain.
Spread over silicon mat and dry over night at 120°F.
The next day, you can heat it a little and shape.
Buttermilk Ice Cream
25g glucose syrup
½ sheet gelatin
Bloom gelatin and reserve.
Heat the rest of the ingredients and melt the gelatin in it.
Cool down, season, and freeze.
Spin in the paco jet.
Fresh watercress leaves
Dried watercress powder
Spoon the ice cream and place it in the bottom of the plate. Make a little well and spoon the whey caramel into it. Add a couple of small whey crisps and then a couple dollops of horseradish gel. Add the watercress leaves and powder at the end.