Friday, August 12, 2011

Black Pepper Blackberry Slush – Relax, There's More Food Coming

Very early in my career, I remember being at a somewhat fancy banquet, and after the first course had been served, the waiters came to the table and placed down, what appeared to be a small bowl of sorbet.

I was told it was a "champagne intermezzo." Instead of being happy, I was more concerned that somehow they had forgotten about our main dish and skipped right to dessert. Not wanting to make a fuss, I ate, wondering what going to happen next.

What happened next was a very nice Veal Oscar. Relieved, I admitted to a tablemate the sorbet had caught me a bit off guard. After a few chuckles, it was explained that an intermezzo was a small, refreshing palate cleanser served in between courses.

So, while you are more than welcome to use this black pepper blackberry slush as a dessert, I'm hoping you give it as try as an intermezzo at your next dinner party. Some of you may call this a "granita," and it is very similar, but it's not quite as icy as that. This has a softer, slushier texture.

I made a very small batch, as I only had a half-pint of blackberries, but you can double or triple this easily for a bigger group. You can also make it the day before, "slush it," and keep it frozen until needed. I hope you give it a try soon, but do me a favor, and warn your guests, so they're not worried the meal is over. Enjoy!

1 cup blackberries
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water
pinch of black pepper
very small pinch of salt

View the complete recipe


Awkward Casanova said...

freakishly small wooden spoon = freakishly large viewer ratings.

Awkward Casanova said...

freakishly small wooden spoon = freakishly large viewer ratings

Smooth Ripe said...

I just put a double portion of this extravagantly simple recipe in the freezer. I used a cup of strawberries and a cup of raspberries.

I also leveled up my cooking conversion skills a notch by figuring out how to convert tablespoons to cups (16 tbsp = 1 cup), because I couldn't find my official tablespoon and didn't feel like measuring out 3x as many teaspoons.

Anyway, I actually plan to use the frozen result in a smoothie, probably with milk and a banana, rather than as a real intermezzo. I wouldn't want to lead my scumbag friends to believe I went all pretentious on them. Maybe when I move to LA in a few weeks.

Mike said...

This was Good.
I am now making a 55 gallon drum of it so I can share with friends. (they get the freakishly small champagne glasses of Blackberry slush)I will be served in pails made for kiddy beach outings. Thanks Chef!

Me.Eat.Food said...


Thanks so much for bringing back the freakishly small spoon!

Don't let the corporate hacks at make you take it away!

Steve said...


How does this differ from a granita?

BTW, YouTube recommends as the next video "Boehner Wants to End 'ObamaCare Slush Funds'"

Take that for what you will.

Chef John said...

check out 2nd to last parag. granita is icier, more water content. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Small wooden spoons rock! BTW such a beautiful color... :)

I mean it hand on heart said...

Finally get a chance to use all the wild blackberries from my back garden, thanks for a great idea Chef John, and entertaining video as always.

Anonymous said...

Chef John i know this is not a desert , but is there anything i can do to make it desert-ier?
Because i LOVE the blackberry taste, it's so refreshing

Michel Kooijman said...

Thanks chef!

Just made the recept and its wonderful!
I love it!



Anonymous said...

chef John,
i tried this recipe and it was amazing!! oh, and i love the freakishly small wooden spoon, i actually went out and bought one for my self.