Iced Oyster

A recipe by Dan Hunter, taken from Brae - Recipes and stories from the restaurant
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For 1 pacojet canister or 24 oysters

Ingredients for the oyster powder and oyster water:

2 dozen Pacific oysters, such as Coffin Bay

Ingredients for the oyster ice cream: (for 1 Pacojet canister)

25g caster sugar

1.5g sorbet neutral emulsifier/stabilizer

115ml cultured milk

115ml full-fat (whole) milk

150ml oyster water (see above)

30g milk powder

70g dextrose

35g trimoline

Ingredients for the sea lettuce powder:

30g sea lettuce (add more if you find the blades of your food processor will not cut such

a small amount)

Ingredients for the seasonings:

oyster powder (see above)

sea lettuce powder

freeze-dried sherry vinegar powder

Method:

For the oyster powder and oyster water

Shuck the oysters, saving not only the meat but also the shells and all the water from inside the shells. Pass the water through a fine sieve (strainer), removing any shell and grit. Reserve 150g of the water, refrigerated, for making the oyster ice cream. Wash the shells thoroughly and store in the freezer.

Lay the oysters on absorbent paper to remove any excess liquid, then transfer them to a dehydrator and dry them at 60ºC (140ºF) for around 12 hours or until completely dry.

Grind the dried oysters to a fine powder in a food processor, then sift away any large pieces. Store the powder in an airtight container.

For the oyster ice cream

To achieve ice cream of the correct texture, it is important to ensure each ingredient is added to the ice cream base when it reaches the stipulated temperatures.

Take 10 per cent of the caster sugar, combine it with the neutral stabilizer and set aside.

In a wide-based saucepan, combine the milks and reserved oyster water and whisk so they are combined. Gently heat the mixture to 25ºC (77ºF) and add the milk powder, stirring constantly so that it does not fall to the bottom of the pan. Continue warming the mixture to 35ºC (95ºF) and add the rest of the caster sugar, the dextrose and trimoline. Continue to heat the mixture to 40ºC (104ºF), then add the neutral stabilizer/sugar mix. Continue to heat the ice cream base gently, whilst stirring constantly, until it reaches a temperature of 85ºC (185ºF). Then remove the saucepan from the heat and emulsify the ice cream base with a stick blender. Place the finished base in a container and refrigerate overnight or for at least 12 hours.

The following day, re-emulsify the mixture, strain it through a fine chinois, then place it in a Pacojet canister and freeze it to –28ºC (–18ºF). Pacotize and churn this ice cream at least twice before serving.

For the sea lettuce powder

Wash the harvested sea lettuce in salted water, picking through it carefully to ensure all sand, shells and other debris are completely removed. It is important to wash the sea lettuce many times, and to give it a good soak in abundant water, as it holds a lot of grit.

Once the sea lettuce is completely free of any impurities, it is a good idea to taste it to check for salt content. If it is too salty, give it a quick soak in fresh water until the desired salt level is achieved.

To dry the sea lettuce, place it in a dehydrator and dry it at 55ºC (131ºF) for 6–12 hours. Process the dried sea lettuce in a food processor to a fine powder. It will hydrate readily, so this powder must be stored in an airtight container.

To serve

Churn the ice cream so that it is quite soft and easy to work with.

Sprinkle a little of each of the sea lettuce and oyster powders on the inside of each reserved shell and fill the shells, one by one, with oyster ice cream, smoothing the tops with a spatula. Return the shells to the freezer and leave them to freeze to a firm eating texture.

When ready to serve, sprinkle each oyster with more oyster powder and a little bit of freeze-dried vinegar powder, then completely cover the ice cream with sea lettuce powder so that it appears as if each one is completely green.

BUY BRAE

• For a restaurant under two years old, Brae is receiving amazing international critical acclaim. Hunter has featured in articles in Eater, Fine Dining Lovers, Bon Appetit, Grub Street, New Yorker a well as all the Australian food press.

• "One of the great meals in the world" and "It is so good it is almost depressing" –Anthony Bourdain reviewing Dan Hunter at previous Australian restaurant The Royal Mail.