I’ve done lots of baking lately – my new discoveries along with the old classics. However, as we’re now entering the hottest part of the summer, I start craving things that are light and refreshing. Like a home-made ice cream, for example. Since we don’t have an ice cream machine, I had to come up with an alternative – like something semi-frozen. This, plus the piles of fresh fruits at the market inspired the idea of sorbet or granita.
I’m still not sure I quite understand the difference between the two but it’s not actually that important. For me the most important was that I found my dessert for this summer which also gives me the possibility to try every combination of fruits I can think of. It is a simple blend of fruit, sugar and water and you don’t need fancy machines, but only a freezer, a shallow container and a fork (well, and a liquidizer, too). In few hours and with minimum of efforts you get velvety, fruity and fresh summer dessert. And the best part is how versatile this granite is – with a little imagination you can whip up a whole range of flavours! Add some spice, use different type of sugar or include a splash of liquor and you’ve got a different dessert every time!
Prep and freezing time: 4 hours
A small pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks*
2 medium sized peaches, chopped
2/3 cup of water
1/3 cup of caster sugar
juice of ½ lemon
*For granita you can also use canned pineapple. In that case use the liquid instead of the water in the recipe.
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve without stirring and reduce the syrup on low heat to half the quantity. Take it off the heat and leave it to cool completely.
In a liquidizer mix pineapple and peaches chunks, the cooled sugar syrup and lemon juice. Whizz until everything is pureed.
Pour the mixture into a shallow container and allow to partially freeze (depending on your freezer it can take from 1 ½ to 3 or may be 4 hours). From time to time scrape the ice with a fork.
Remove from the freezer and scrape and scratch, until you reduce everything in fine nice crystals. You can also whizz it briefly, and then freeze it again for half an hour.
Serve in individual glasses garnished with peach slices and fresh mint.