That's what I thought I was getting when he dropped a DVD into my hands with a grin on his face. I was nonplussed that he had handed me a romantic film by Wong Kar-wai, a Chinese director known for visually stylized films. Looking over the cast, a name jumped out at me and it all made sense...if there's one thing that he likes more than cars and guns, it's Nora Jones.
The movie, My Blueberry Nights, was almost forgettable despite the stunning melancholic atmosphere created by Wong through roving shallow lenses and lush chiaroscuro. The minor key mood was a good fit for Nora, but Jude Law never convinced me as a marathon runner wannabe who settles for running a diner where he makes blueberry pies that no one ever eats. It was the pie, and the way that Wong committed it to celluloid that I will remember: tight macro shots of ice cream salaciously melting into mounds of lurid blueberries. It was so deliciously lascivious that I wanted to avert my eyes.
In the end, it was blueberry pie that brought the characters together and endeared Wong to me as a film maker and food pornographer. And it inspired this dish.
150 g. reserved blueberry juice
8 g. agave nectar
2.5 g. ulratex 8
Place all ingredients in a bowl and blend with whisk or immersion blender until starch swells and juice has thickened.
1 pint raw blueberries
60 g. reserved blueberry juice
30 g. unsalted butter
10 g. agave nectar
Place blueberries in a vacuum bag and seal. Cook in a water bath at 63C (150F) for 1 hour. Make a glaze by heating the blueberry juice and agave nectar over low heat. Whisk in butter until melted. Remove bag from water bath and toss berries in glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.
40 g. all purpose flour
8 g. confectioners sugar
.5 g. salt
13 g. tapioca maltodextrin
30 g. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Spread flour in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast in oven for about 45 minutes, stirring often until fragrant and golden. Cool completely. Toasted flour can be made ahead and kept in a sealed container.
Preheat oven to 350F (180C) Place the flour, sugar, salt and TM in a bowl and toss to combine. Slowly drizzle in melted butter while tossing with a fork. Remove rounded nuggets as they form and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes and allow to cool completely before handling.
30 g. fresh lemon balm leaves
100 g. sugar
50 g. heavy cream
300 g. greek yogurt, well chilled
Place lemon balm and sugar in a food processor and process with 10 pulses or until lemon balm is finely chopped. Working quickly, as lemon balm begins to oxidize and turn brown, empty contents of food processor into a saucepan and add heavy cream. Set over medium heat and cook gently, just until sugar melts. Remove from heat and pass mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Chill until cold, then fold in yogurt. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions.