The Recipe: An icy-cold raspberry slushee for grown-ups. Just three ingredients and because it's a granita, you don't need an ice cream maker, just a freezer and a fork!
“What?! You don’t have an ice cream maker?” asked my mom’s friend in surprise more than ten years ago. Phyllis knew I was a foodie, her food sensibility had long inspired me. (Naturally, there’s a story, see Cold & Creamy Cantaloupe Soup.)
Trusting her judgment, I set off to find one and the same ice cream maker has been a workhorse ever since.
But last summer, the bowl lost its freeze mojo, something I learned, naturally, right in the midst of making what was supposed to be Raspberry & Red Wine Sorbet.
So instead, I turned the mixture into a “granita” – that’s an icy form of sorbet from Italy. You don't need an ice cream maker to make granita, just a freezer and a fork!
The result was so icy and refreshing, I’ve made it three times and never once pulled out the ice cream maker to make sorbet.
And once? I had a terribly sore throat and ooh, the fruity crystals felt so soothing. The granita must have medicinal effect too because the next day? All better!
It strikes me that this is a great “concept” recipe. In spring, I’d use a rose with strawberries or rhubarb, in summer, a fruity white wine with peaches or apricots. That said, I love the tart combination of raspberries and red wine so much I’ve stuck to it all three times! What appeals to you?
RASPBERRY & RED WINE GRANITA
Rest time: 1 hour
Time to table: 12 - 24 hours
Makes about 10 servings
- 1 bottle fruity red wine
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 12 – 16 ounces frozen or fresh raspberries (a berry blend works great too)
- Fresh raspberries, for serving, optional
In a saucepan, mix the wine, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Let boil hard for a minute, stirring to help the sugar dissolve.
Take off the heat, stir in the raspberries and let steep for an hour or more in the refrigerator.
Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the wine mixture through it. Press the raspberries through the mesh with the back of a spoon. (Use the smashed berry flesh in a smoothie or the morning oatmeal!)
FOR GRANITA Transfer the berry-wine mixture to a freezer container. To avoid spilling, place the container inside another dish. (I use a 9x13 pan, a spill makes a huge mess in the freezer.) Freeze until hard, about 12 hours. With the tines of a fork, scrape the frozen mixture to fluff into icy crystals and serve immediately.
FOR SORBET If you prefer a smooth, fruity sorbet and have an ice cream maker, by all means, use it. Chill the berry-wine mixture first, then process until firm.
MAKE-AHEAD This can be made several days, even a week in advance, no problem. After it freezes, just apply plastic wrap to the surface to avoid freezer burn. Lasts several weeks, if it does, if you know what I mean.
Just Three Easy Steps, No Ice Cream Maker Required
It's so easy to make this granita! The first two steps help infuse the wine with the very most berry flavor as possible. Then, just freeze the mixture and then, when it's frozen hard, scrape with a fork. Sooo easy!
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