LITCHI & LIME GRANITA
Canned, pitted Litchis in syrup are excellent for this granita. The addition of ginger or lime leaves (available at specialty food stores)
only enhances the delicate perfume. You can also enjoy this treat without the extra flavoring. Top it with chopped preserved ginger if you like.
Serves 4 to 6
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6 fresh lime leaves or 2 tablespoons peeled freshly grated ginger (optional)
1 cup water
One 20-ounce can litchis in syrup
Juice of 1 lime
2 to 6 tablespoons superfine sugar, depending on the sweetness of the litchi syrup
|If using lime leaves or ginger, place them in a saucepan with water. Drain the syrup from the litchi can, reserving the litchis. Add the syrup to the saucepan and heat to just boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool to room temperature.|
|Remove the leaves and place the mixture along with and the litchis in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing hard to extract all the juice. Stir in the lime juice and sugar to taste.|
|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.