I feel like I should be offering you all something more substantial (I posted this fruit-based recipe the other day, after all), but the fact of the matter is this: it’s very hot, and I’ve been relying on foods that are inherently light and which don’t require much preparation.
The inspiration to make this delicious granita recipe came from Abby Dodge. I met Abby last winter and absolutely adore her, so when she came up with the idea for #BakeTogether on twitter, I wanted in. I sadly missed the opportunity to try my hand at her chocolate truffle tart last month, but here I am with granita, adapted from her Summer Strawberry Sorbet.
Abby mentioned flavoring the sorbet with lemongrass in her post, and since I am growing lemongrass for the first time this year and had yet to use it in a recipe, I figured this would be the perfect time to try it out. Now that I know firsthand what a lovely flavor the lemongrass imparts, I will be adding it to more recipes, that’s for sure. If you don’t have lemongrass, I’d consider adding a bit more lemon zest.
You can choose just one type of berry if you like, but I didn’t have enough strawberries on hand so ended up adding the blackberries. I’m glad I made it with both because it’s a stunning color and the berry flavor is quite intense…use local berries, if possible.
Feel free to make this in an ice cream maker if you’d prefer a sorbet. I made granita because I had never done so before (plus sometimes I just don’t want to hear the noise of the ice cream machine). I didn’t try it, but think a little homemade whipped cream on top would be terrific.
Strawberry Blackberry Lemongrass Granita
Yield: Serves 4-6
This granita has wonderful berry and lemon flavor...it absolutely perfect as a light summer dessert.
*3/4 cup organic sugar
*3/4 cup water
*4 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
*juice of 2 lemons, organic if possible, plus the zest of 1 of the lemons
*1.5 cups strawberries, homegrown or organic/local if possible, rinsed, dried, trimmed, and sliced in half if large
*1.5 cups blackberries, homegrown or organic/local if possible, rinsed and dried
*pinch sea salt
1. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan and heat so the sugar dissolves. Add the lemongrass pieces and allow to infuse for 30-60 minutes. Remove lemongrass with a slotted spoon and compost or discard. Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
3. Process the berries in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the lemon-y sugar syrup and the salt and blend again.
4. Pour the mixture into a suitable-sized baking dish or plastic container (I used a large bread baking pan) and place in the freezer, making sure it is level and secure.
5. Freeze for 1-2 hours until frozen around the edges, then every 30 minutes or so for the next few hours, stir and scrape the mixture with a fork until it is thoroughly crystallized and ready to serve. I ended up letting my leftovers freeze completely overnight, then let the pan sit out at room temperature before "re-scraping"... the granita was still great.
Adapted from Abby Dodge.