This post comes courtesy of Jennifer Farley, blogger, recipe developer and food photographer at Savory Simple.
A granita, also known as granita siciliana, is a frozen dessert made from sugar, water and assorted flavors. Originally from Sicily, it’s very similar in texture to sorbet or Italian ice. In restaurants, granitas are often served as a palate cleanser between courses; they can also make wonderful desserts. Some common granita flavors are citrus, fruit, coffee and tea.
Here is a basic, step-by-step guide for creating a delicious granita:
First, gather all of your ingredients. For 2 cups of granita you’ll need 1 cup of filtered water, 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sugar and approximately 1/2 cup of additional flavoring ingredients such as juice, fruit puree, coffee, liquor, etc. These ingredient measurements can be adjusted to taste. If you use alcohol in your granita the final consistency will be less firm.
Make a simple syrup. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and simmer on medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
Remove the pot from the heat. Add any solid flavoring agents such as zest, spices or fresh herbs (if using) and allow the flavors to steep for 30 minutes while the mixture cools. Strain any solids from the syrup and stir in the additional liquids.
Pour the mixture into a flat-bottomed pan or glass dish. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Stir the mixture very thoroughly with a fork and allow it to freeze for another 30 minutes.
Repeat this process every 30 minutes for 3 to 4 hours. Make sure to mix the granita well every time, scraping down the sides. The idea is to prevent ice crystals from forming so you wind up with a consistency similar to sorbet. If the mixture isn’t stirred thoroughly you might wind up with small blocks of ice, which aren’t nearly as fun to eat. Three hours will give you a good granita, but four hours will guarantee the consistency is smooth. I recommend serving the granita immediately, but it will hold for 24 hours.
|Meyer Lemon Mint Granita
This Meyer lemon granita is clean and refreshing. Meyer lemons have a slightly sweeter and less acidic flavor than regular lemons, with a hint of orange. The lemon and mint combination is this recipe is reminiscent of a mojito — try adding a splash of rum!
Simple and elegant, this refreshing granita should be made at least 12 hours ahead so that the ice crystals are frozen solid. Serve with store-bought amaretto cookies in their decorative wrapping papers.
|Earl Grey Granita with a Tangerine Twist
The hint of fresh juice in this refreshing granita highlights the citrusy notes of Earl Grey tea, which is flavored with the essential oil of bergamot orange peel. If you grow bergamot orange in the garden, use its juice and zest here in place of the tangerine.
Look for a cantaloupe with even netting on the skin and no soft spots. If you can find only an underripe melon, place it in a paper bag on your countertop for 2 or 3 days. It will sweeten slightly, although the sweetness won’t match that of a vine-ripened cantaloupe.
|Blackberry Granita & Cream Parfait
Berries are delicious in this recipe, where they are transformed into a granita and layered with sweetened whipped cream and yogurt.
About the author: Jennifer Farley is the owner, recipe developer and food photographer of Savory Simple. She graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD where she trained in classic French technique. Jennifer currently works as a recreational cooking instructor and social media marketer. She resides in the Washington DC metropolitan area and can often be found exploring the local culinary scene in search of new inspiration.