Granita is an Italian semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. It’s a simple recipe and no special equipment needed. The flavor possibilities are endless! Seasonal fruits are very popular and you can kick the flavor up a notch by added fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, mint or even add a little kick with peppers. When using herbs or peppers add them to the liquid in the recipe while warming and let them steep, but remove them before finishing the granita, so there aren’t actual bites of the herbs or peppers in it, just the flavors. When using fresh fruits such as blackberries and raspberries after pureeing you will need to strain the liquid with a fine mesh strainer or sieve to remove the seeds. Below you will find 2 recipes that you can use and make other flavors from just by changing the fruit and/or herbs/peppers.
A few flavor combination ideas:
- Mango Habanero
- Peach Jalapeno
- Strawberry Thyme
- Raspberry Mint
- Blackberry Basil
- Citrus Sage (a combination of Orange, Lemon and Grapefruit)
- Chocolate Cayenne
- Watermelon Rosemary
Blackberry Mint Granita
- 8 oz Fresh Blackberries
- 8oz Granulated Sugar
- 8oz Water
- 10 Mint Leaves or 1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract
- Puree the blackberries in a food processor and strain out the seeds and pulp.
- Combine the granulated sugar, water, and fresh mint leaves in a pot and bring to a boil. Continue to boil the simple syrup solution until it reaches between 220-‐223 degrees F. Allow to cool to touch and remove mint leaves.
- Combine 5 ½-‐6 oz of the prepared simple syrup with the blackberry puree/juice and stir well.
- Pour the granita base into a shallow baking dish (glass cookware works well), wrap tightly with plastic wrap (to prevent spills), and place in the freezer.
- Freeze the granita base for 4-‐6 hours, stirring the mixture every 45-‐60 minutes with a fork. While stirring be sure to distribute the ice crystals evenly throughout the mixture to ensure an even consistent texture.
- After the final mixing, place the mixture in a separate container with a lid. The granita is ready to serve immediately or freeze overnight for a firmer product.
- 2 cups lukewarm espresso or strong black coffee
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
- 1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar melts. Pour mixture into 9 by 13-inch metal pan and place on level shelf in freezer for half an hour. (Mixture should only come about 1/4-inch up the side of the pan.) Remove and use a dinner fork to scrape any ice crystals that have formed on the side or bottom of the pan. Return to freezer and repeat scraping every 20 to 30 minutes for 3 to 4 hours. Once mixture is thoroughly frozen, fluff with a fork and allow flakes to “dry” in freezer another half hour before serving. When served, the granita should look like a fluffy pile of dry brown crystals.
Scoop into goblets and top with barely sweetened whipped cream.