Sunday, July 10, 2011
So, to get back to that list of things I'm supposed to be cooking... granitas! These are basically frozen fruit-ices that taste like crunchy sorbet, but (generally) less sweet. I adore them. I've made four so far, but the one in these photos is the first one I've gotten decent shots of.
Pomegranate Chai Granita
This one came out of a cookbook I was processing at work, but unfortunately I forgot to write down which one. If you've come across it let me know where.
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1 bag chai tea
Bring the water to a boil and dissolve the sugar in it. Add juices and tea bag, and steep until cool. Pour into a shallow, flat dish (the bigger the better... I use a large pyrex baking dish with a lid) and place in the freezer, making sure the liquid is level. Freeze for 45 minutes, then stir with a fork, scraping ice crystals away from the sides of the pan and breaking up any chunks. Repeat every thirty minutes or so until the granita is all flakes and crystals.
Minty Green Tea Granita
This one is from Mark Bittman's Food Matters book. Mine came out more green-tea-and-honey than green-tea-and-mint, but it was still pretty delicious.
3 cups water
3 bags green tea
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup honey
juice of one lemon
Bring the water nearly to a boil, turn off the heat and add the tea bags and mint. Steep ten minutes, stir in the honey and lemon juice. Pour into the pan and stir periodically as above.
Blackberry-Orange and Raspberry-Mint Granitas
These were the first two I made, and were the result of a big sale on berries at Fairway. The measurements are kind of approximate because I don't remember exactly how I made them, but they turned out fabulously. These are one of the best desserts to make in hot weather because (assuming you keep simple syrup on hand) they don't require you to turn on the stove at all.
2 pints blackberries
zest of one orange
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/3-1/2 cup simple syrup
2 pints raspberries
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/3-1/2 cup simple syrup
3/4 cup water or seltzer
Purée the berries and zest/mint, then force through a fine strainer or cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible while removing seeds. Mix with liquids, freeze and stir.
The blackberry-orange one was hands-down my favorite... blackberries just have a ton of flavor, and the orange was a nice complement. Despite the fact that it takes a couple of hours for a granita to freeze, they really take very little work, but look elegant and are extremely refreshing in yucky summer weather. Plus if you get sick of eating them you can turn them into fancy drinks like I did here.