Refreshing Summertime Dessert Made Easy | Culture | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Refreshing Summertime Dessert Made Easy 

Turn juicy fruits into icy frozen granitas with little effort

Gather the family and a fork and get ready to make a summertime dessert that’ s sure to become a favorite! Ok, you’ll also need a blender, a cake pan and some fruit to make a delicious, icy granita, but that’s about all.

A granita is a semi-frozen dessert typically made from fresh fruit, sugar and water. It’s blended and then frozen until icy, flaked with a fork and frozen again. Originally from Sicily, granita is related to sorbet and Italian ice but is incredibly simple to make. It’s a light, refreshing treat that can be dressed up as an elegant dessert or served to the kiddos in a paper cup on a hot afternoon.

click to enlarge TAMBI LANE
  • Tambi Lane

Granitas come in all flavors, from berry to watermelon to lemon to spiced coffee. It’s a great way to use leftover fruit. Dairy-free, gluten-free and convenient for making ahead, granitas keep for up to a week in the freezer. You can experiment with toppings as well; consider things such as fruit zest, chocolate sauce or shavings, nuts, coconut flakes, whipped cream or balsamic vinegar. Keep in mind the more frequently you stir granita, the slushier it will be. The less you stir, the icier it will be, so experiment to find out which texture you prefer.

Watermelon Lime Granita

You can substitute any fresh fruit of your choice for the watermelon and use lemon juice instead of lime juice. You can also substitute monk fruit sweetener for the sugar to make a granita lower in carbohydrates and calories.

Serves 4-6 Ingredients:

• 6 cups watermelon, or fruit of your choice, cubed or chopped
• 1 cup water
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar or monk fruit sweetener
• 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
• Pinch of salt

Instructions: Add fruit, water, sugar, lime juice and salt to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into a shallow baking pan or dish. The puree should be about ½ inch deep. Place the pan in the freezer and chill for 1 hour. Using a fork, scrape the mixture in the pan to form ice crystals. Return pan to freezer and chill for another hour. Repeat the scraping process. Return the pan to the freezer again until the mixture is completely frozen with a flaky texture. Remove from freezer and let soften before scooping the granita into bowls to serve. Top with sprigs of fresh mint.

How to Make a Granita Without a Recipe

Below are the general steps you can take to make a granita without a specific recipe.

Be sure and taste your puree before freezing, adding more fruit or more sweetener to suit your taste. If you want to keep the granita frozen for longer than a day, be sure and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

1. Choose your liquid. Puree fruit of your choice in blender along with water, juices such as orange, mango or cranberry, leftover coffee/tea, etc. to desired consistency. It should be pourable but still have some body to it.

2. Add sweetener. You can use sugar, monk fruit or any other sugar substitute or honey, as well as zest or spices. You could also make a simple syrup using a 1:1 water/sweetener ratio and use 3 tablespoons of syru p per cup of liquid puree.

3. Freeze in a metal or glass baking dish. Puree should rise only ½ inch up the side of whatever baking dish you use for freezing.

4. Scrape with a fork. There are different scraping instructions depending on which recipe you use but in general you’ll want to do your first scraping 30- 60 minutes after first placing in freezer. After that, scrape every half hour or at least every hour until desired consistency is reached.

5. Let sit at room temperature for 10-20 minutes before serving.

6. Top with whatever you desire. Simple sprigs of mint or basil are perfect for fruit granitas, but you can also add toppings such as whipped cream, coconut flakes, balsamic vinegar, chocolate chips, yogurt, etc
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