Friday, November 12, 2010

Granita - The Classy Snow Cone

This week, I was inspired by an episode of Diners, Drive-ins & Dives
(I love that show!). One of the diners made traditional shaved ices.

People usually crave snow cones on a hot summer day but I thought 'wouldn't a snow cone be delicious right now?' (on this cold, rainy dark night) and off I went to investigate how I could make them as soon as possible.

A snow cone is usually spherically-formed crushed bits of ice you pour a flavoured syrup over. A shaved ice is shaved from a block with flavour added and absorbed by the ice. A granita is a semi-frozen ice mixture (flavour is mixed in and then frozen).

I've always wanted to make a granita, so carpe diem!

I modified a fresh fruit granita recipe because I only had berry-blend fruit juice to hand. But it was a great success! Laura and I enjoyed this as a sweet fall treat. (Laura comments: The added lemon juice adds just the right amount of tartness.)

What I like the most is that I can make any flavour (juice or fresh fruit) and don't need any special machines. For the next batch I will serve it slushie-style in a glass with some added fruit juice or maybe to my favourite cocktail (a margarita would work perfectly).

Try this out and let us know your favourite flavours!

1 c hot water
1/4 c sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 c fruit juice (if this already has sugar in it, you can lessen the amount of sugar you add)

using fresh fruit
substitute 3 c fresh blended fruit for the juice
increase the amount of sugar to 1/2–3/4 c

  1. Stir first 3 ingredients in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Add sugar syrup to fruit juice and stir.
  2. Pour mixture into nonstick metal baking pan. Using a pan that allows the mixture to be fairly shallow will speed up the freezing process.
  3. Freeze until icy around edges ~20 minutes. Using a fork or spoon, stir icy portions into middle of pan.
  4. Continue to freeze, stirring edges into center every ~20 minutes, total 1 1/2 hours. Using fork, scrape granita into flaky crystals. Cover tightly and freeze. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Though it probably won't last that long.)
  5. Scrape granita into chilled bowls/glasses and serve.

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