Sunday, July 18, 2010

If You're Hot, Hot, Hot, Go for Granita

We've been experiencing some record temperatures this summer, and finding ways to keep cool have proved a bit challenging. Seems like the only refreshing thing is what comes out of the freezer. So, I've gone on a granita kick! Granita is a cross between sherbet and sorbet with a finely ground ice texture. It's incredibly easy to prepare and you can turn most any fruit or liquid into granita. The amount of sweetener is a matter of preference. If your looking for the authentic taste of the fruit (fruit should be ripe) you won't need much sugar, but keep in mind as the granita freezes the sweet factor lessons slightly. So if it tastes a bit too sweet before you pop it into the freezer, not to worry, the end result should be perfect. Pureed peaches turn out a more solid granita (less icy) than the customary granita ... which tends to be more icy, less solid. Watermelon, leftover coffee and juices like grapefruit and lime turn out really authentic icy granitas that are so refreshing.

Garnish if desired with an edible flower and fresh mint leaves, scratch-made whipped cream or coat the rim of a martini glass with sugar or hit it with a splash of amaretto, it complements the peaches perfectly.

Peach Granita
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
4 medium ripe peaches, peeled and pitted

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil, reduce heat slightly, add sugar and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place peaches in a blender or food processor and blend until pureed. Add peaches to cooled sugar water. Transfer mixture to a shallow glass baking dish to accommodate, cover and freeze for about an hour. Using a fork, stir the granita. Stir the granita every hour or so, using a fork. Freeze for another hour, continuing the fork stirring process. Granita is ready when peaches are more than slush and less than frozen solid. Transfer to serving vessels, garnish as desired. Serves 4.

Peach Granita