Keep cool with icy granita
Granita is Italian flavored ice – a fancy slushy for grown-ups.
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The first batch I offered to my friend Ryan who was visiting from Portland, Ore., where it never gets hotter than 70 degrees F. I should have taken his overall overheated misery into consideration before I asked him for his opinion on the granita. “Too sweet,” he said. Determined to please, I halved the amount of sugar and tried again the next day. “Too tart,” he said. Then Goldilocks showed up and we all played a round of Bananagrams. (OK, Goldilocks was a no-show. But Ryan did win the round – this after dissing my granita twice in a row. Geez.)Skip to next paragraph
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Anyway. Here are the recipes. Keep them handy. The dog days of summer are straight ahead.
Currant and Raspberry Granita
1 cup currants
2 cups (1 pint) fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Purée the currants and raspberries in a blender. Press the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Add lemon juice.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Boil until the mixture has the consistency of a light syrup, about 4 minutes. Allow to cool.
Stir in the fruit purée and add to an 8″x8″ glass baking dish. Cover with foil and allow to freeze, about 3 hours.
Scoop into glass dishes and serve.
Lemon Mint Granita
1 cup water
3/4 to 1 cup sugar, to taste
2 cups fresh mint leaves
1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, about 5 lemons
Zest of one lemon
In a medium saucepan, add water, sugar, and mint leaves. Heat on medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Heat for 4 minutes on low heat (you do not need to boil). Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Remove and discard mint leaves.
Add lemon juice and zest to sugar syrup and stir. Pour into an 8″x8″ glass dish and cover with foil. Place in freezer. Stir the granita every hour or so for up to 6 six hours until frozen.
Scoop out of dish with a fork by raking the ice into shards. Serve in glass dish and garnish with a mint leaf or two.
Related post: Pink and red currant pie
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