Be sure to make this when strawberries are sweet and plentiful.
For added romance reduce the water to 1/4 cup and stir in 1 1/2 cups champagne (it can be flat) before freezing. For a more intense strawberry flavor, omit the orange juice.
I like to top this with a few fresh strawberries and mint leaves.
Serves 4 to 6
| (CLICK TO BUY)
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar or to taste
1 1/2 pounds sweet ripe strawberries (about 5 heaping cupfuls)
1 cup fresh orange juice
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
|Simmer the water with the sugar for a minute in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.|
|Briefly rinse the strawberries and hull them. Blend the berries to a puree in a food processor.|
|Mix in the sugar syrup and the orange and lemon juices. Taste and add more sugar if needed.|
|To freeze the granita, see below.|
|Freezing the Granita|
||Pour the granita mixture into a wide and shallow container.|
||Cover with a lid, foil, or plastic wrap. Freeze the mixture for an hour or two until it has frozen around the edge.|
||Take the container out of the freezer and scrape the ice with a fork, mixing it from the edge into the center.|
||Repeat this scraping and mixing process every 1/2 hour or so (at least three times) until the entire mixture has turned into small, sequined ice flakes.|
||It is best to eat the granita at once, but if you leave it in the freezer overnight or longer, just let it
sit for about 10 minutes until it softens a little and then scrape it again with fork to lighten the texture.|
|This granita will have a different texture, a very fine grain, like slushy snow rather than icy morning snow.|
||Pour the granita mixture into ice trays, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to freeze solid.|
||Process the cubes in a food processor when you are ready to serve.|
• Chill the mixture in the fridge before freezing it.|
• Freezers vary in temperature; make sure yours is at the coldest setting.
• The shallower your container, the quicker your granita will freeze. Try to keep the mixture less than 3/4-inch deep.
• Use a non-reactive dish. Stainless steel conducts cold faster than plastic.
• Please adjust the sugar content to your own taste, remembering that the mixture will taste less sweet after freezing.
• Use regular granulated white sugar unless the ingredients specify superfine sugar.
• Chilling the container first will help speed the freezing.
• Granitas that are especially high in fruit pulp, sugar, or alcohol don't freeze solid.
You can leave these mixtures in the freezer for hours, then scrape and mix them with a fork just before serving.
• Granitas that are high in alcohol have a melting texture and should be served straight from the freezer.
Excerpted from GRANITA MAGIC copyright © 2003 Nadia Roden.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.