In the Hudson Valley we are about to endure a weekend of almost 100 degree weather. Add the humidity factor to that temperature and it can feel unbearable. I’m certain there are many other friends and family throughout the country facing the very same thing (maybe minus the humidity) this 4th of July weekend. It is high time to break out the cooling recipes to sooth away the heat and temper the wilting spirit.
For those without an ice cream freezer, here is a basic recipe for fruit granité to start with. It calls for 2 ½ pounds of cut up fruit, some citrus juice and granulated sugar. It does require some tending, but it is well worth it.
Here is the recipe:
2 to 2 1/2 pounds of fruit, cut into chunks
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Have on hand a metal pan or two to freeze the granité in. I used a very large cake pan. The important thing is you don’t want the liquid to be more than one inch deep in the pan or it will take a pretty long time to freeze.
Working in batches, place the fruit in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree until as smooth as possible. Press the puree through a strainer to remove any seeds, solids and such into the metal pan.Repeat until all the fruit is pureed and strained. Add the lime juice and sugar to the liquid and stir until the sugar is melted.Your granité is now ready to place in the freezer. About every half hour or so, take a fork and run it through the liquid. At first you will question this process. I promise, you will feel somewhat foolish at first running a fork through what looks like punch. But each time you trek back to the freezer, it will be more solid, until at last – it will begin to solidify. Each “scratch” of the fork creates crystals of flaky fruitiness.This dish is best served within a day or two of making it. ONLY because with each day the crystals kinda chunk together but it DOES NOT affect the flavor. Store in a plastic freezer-safe container.
Here are your variables. Use your favorite fruit, heck, use a mix of fruits. Add mint or other herbs. If you don’t have lime, use lemon. If you prefer not to use sugar, experiment with agave syrup. Have fun with it!