They’re icy; they’re light. They’re fat-free. And they’re perfect for cleansing your palette after a full meal.
That was the original purpose of granitas; in the seventeenth century, chefs served them in between the main course (entrée) and dessert to wake up their patrons’ taste buds.
Granitas are easy to make-all you need are water, sugar and a flavoring.
Here’s what to do:
1 ½ cups each sugar and water
4 pints of raspberries, pureed and strained
1 ½ cups simple syrup, cooled
1 cup of cold water
¼ cup raspberry liqueur
½ tsp vanilla extract
Step 1-In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water.
Bring to a boil and cook for one minute, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove the syrup from the heat and cool to room temperature (this mixture is referred to as “simple syrup” and is the base for all granitas).
Step 2-In a 9” baking pan, combine the raspberries, simple syrup, cold water, raspberry liqueur and vanilla extract.
Freeze the mixture for 1 ½ hours (90 minutes).
Using a fork, scrape the mixture from edge to edge, breaking up any large pieces.
Freeze for 1 ½ hours more or overnight.
Step 3-Remove the pan from freezer and let stand for 10 minutes.
Scrape the mixture again from edge to edge, breaking up any large pieces. Or you can pulse or chop in a food blender or processor until the mixture’s chunky.
A variety of flavors can be layered in several differently-shaped glasses for an elegant, yet casual after-dinner treat.
Substitute the raspberries for 20 apricots (about 3 ¼ lbs.), pitted, 2 cups of fresh lemon juice, 4 pints strawberries, pureed, 2 cups fresh orange juice or 2 cups of fresh lime juice.
You can use coconut rum, orange-flavored liqueur, light rum, almond-flavored liqueur or spiced rum instead of the raspberry liqueur.
Besides the vanilla extract, try 1 Tbs of freshly grated lemon zest (do not strain), 2 sprigs rosemary (strain before freezing), 1 piece (about 2”) of fresh ginger, smashed (strain before freezing), 1 Tbs freshly grated lime zest (do not strain) or 1 Tbs of freshly grated orange zest (do not strain).