Falling somewhere between sorbets and slushies, granitas have a surprising elegance. They are pleasingly rustic and extremely easy to make—you don’t even need an ice-cream maker—and for some reason, the delicate icy crystals seem to enhance the flavors. This strawberry rendition is refreshing and simple; each bite tastes like a berry exploding in your mouth. This recipe actually serves 6 or more, so after a dinner for 2, be sure to eat the leftovers within a couple of days; the crystals harden into unpalatable chunks over time.
Makes 6 Cups
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 cups Driscoll’s Strawberries, hulled
Small fresh mint sprigs for garnish
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the water, sugar, and lime juice and cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Thinly slice 1 cup of the strawberries and set aside for garnish. Put the remaining 3 cups strawberries in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the lime syrup to the strawberries and pulse until well combined.
3. Pour the strawberry mixture into a 13-by-9-by-2-inch metal baking pan. Freeze until icy around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Using a fork, scrape to break up the ice crystals, moving the frozen edges into the center and creating the beginnings of a granita. return the pan to the freezer. Scrape the icy parts every 20 minutes or so, until the mixture is a uniform icy slush, 1½ to 2 hours total. Scrape the entire pan once more, then cover it tightly and freeze overnight.
4. To serve, scrape the granita into bowls and garnish each portion with the sliced strawberries and a mint sprig or two. Serve immediately.
Recipe from Small Gatherings by Jessica Strand (Egg & Dart Press, May 2013)
Image by Sheri Giblin.