Wonderful between courses or as a light dessert topped with raspberries or sliced strawberries.
For a nice variation, mix in 1 cup of puréed fresh peaches, pineapple, or passion fruit before freezing.
Make this granita when you have an already open bottle of champagne again rather than discarding it.
Serves 4 to 6
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2 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cups Champagne, chilled
|Bring the water, sugar, and lemon zest to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove the saucepan from the heat.
Allow to cool before adding the lemon juice.|
|When the mixture is almost frozen, scrape it with a fork and stir in the Champagne.
Re-cover the pan and allow it to freeze again.|
|Serve the granita straight from the freezer.|
|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.