This classic Granita is so much more refreshing than iced coffee! Italians serve coffee granita with a spoonful of
whipped cream and sometimes scoop it into a brioche. I like to make batches to keep in the freezer throughout the
summer to have at breakfast, after lunch, or after dinner with whipped cream flavored with Sambuca, an Italian licorice-flavored liquer.
Serves 4 to 6
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2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup finely ground espresso coffee
1 teaspoon lemon zest
5 to 6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
|If you have an espresso machine, make 2 1/2 cups of extra-strong espresso.
Otherwise put the water in a saucepan, add the coffee grounds, and bring to the boil. Immediately turn off the heat.|
|Add the lemon zest and allow to infuse for 5 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter.
Mix in the sugar while the coffee is still warm. Stir in the lemon juice.
|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.