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How to Make a Granita

August 2016
How to Make a Granita
PHOTOGRAPHER: 
Though a heaping spoonful is often served as a palate cleanser between courses, granita can make for the perfect summertime refreshment on its own. “It’s great for kids,” notes Peninsula Grill executive pastry chef Claire Chapman. “It’s like a snow cone, but not overly sweet.” For a fun adults-only treat, try this alcoholic version

Getting Started:

➤ Below, Chapman shares her recipe for a limoncello granita.

➤ You can experiment with other fruits and juices to your liking; the steps for making any flavored granita are the same once the liquid goes into the freezer.

➤ Want an option that adults and kids alike can enjoy? Keep reading to find Chapman’s peach-basil granita recipe.

Limoncello Granita

First steps: In a large saucepan, bring four cups of water, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and zest from two lemons to a boil. Prepare an ice bath. Once boiling, strain the syrup into a bowl and place the bowl into an ice bath to chill.

Adding the booze: When the mixture has cooled, add two cups fresh lemon juice and 1/4 cup limoncello liqueur. Pour into a flat-bottomed dish that can be frozen, such as a rectangular Pyrex baking dish.

Making the “snow:” Place the dish in the freezer and begin to let it set. Check the liquid every 30 minutes, and once the edges start to freeze, scrape and stir the crystallizing liquid with a fork. Return the pan to the freezer and let it set for another 30 minutes, then scrape and stir. (The object is to break up the ice crystals as the mixture freezes, otherwise it’ll turn into a block of ice.) Continue this process every half hour—then at shorter intervals once it’s halfway frozen—until the granita is completely frozen and resembles icy snow.

Serving and storing: Scoop some into a dish only when you are ready to serve; it’ll melt quickly. (Chapman garnishes hers with fresh raspberries and a candied lemon slice.) Stored in an airtight container in the freezer, the granita will keep for roughly two months.

Chef’s note: This recipe yields a fairly tart product. You can adjust the amount of sugar to taste, but remember: if you add more sugar, reduce the amount of alcohol so the granita will set.

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