This is a simple, no-fuss frozen custard that I made over the weekend with fresh raspberries. It’s not too sweet and allows the raspberries’ tang to come through. It uses the coconut milk custard that I shared a little over a month ago here – the most you have to wait is for it to freeze, although the custard and raspberries blended together alone are thick and creamy enough for a milkshake, perhaps with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream added for good measure.
You’ll hear it everywhere and from everyone: granita is so easy to make. And it’s true. You don’t need an ice cream maker, you don’t need eggs or dairy to make it (a bonus for those that have to be dairy-free), and the only (possible) fuss you’ll have to make is scraping at the ice with a fork to break it up, which is what makes it granita and not a block of flavoured liquid.
In parts of Italy, granita is the breakfast of choice, served with brioche and coffee.
If you’re thinking up ways to get your kids in the kitchen or they already are in the kitchen and want to help make a frozen treat, granita is an ideal starter, as are popsicles and, if you’re into the one-ingredient banana ice cream, this fruit-based instant “ice cream”.
I made lemon granita over the BC (British Columbia) Day long weekend and it disappeared quickly; most of it was eaten by my brothers and as they started to ponder other flavours. The very next day we made a grapefruit granita, with a recipe from the Food Network that I found on What Katie Ate (and I absolutely love Katie and her blog!).
After you’ve made granita, you’ll quickly learn that it’s really a cinch and it’s one of those things that a recipe isn’t really required. You can make it suited to your tastes and according to the level of sweetness from the fruit, keeping in mind you may have to add some sweetener depending on how much it’s watered down; ratios differ, some using more water than juice and vise vera. Some use a fruit puree instead of or as well as fruit juice. I think it largely depends on the kind you’re making – granita can also be made with coffee or chocolate – for example this recipe from Cooking for Engineers uses three cups of orange juice with one cup of water, the latter of which is used to make a simple syrup, whereas the lemon granita I’m sharing (recipe after the jump) only uses a cup of lemon juice and four cups of water.
This August’s issue of Martha Stewart Living has a whole bunch of things I’ve never heard of before – buckles, slumps, and, what we’re focusing on today, spooms. Yes, spoom – not spoon. (The auto-correcter is trying to proof my apparent misspelling.) It turns out spoom was once a favourite dessert in England, according to Wikipedia, and it’s name derives from the Italian spuma (foam). It’s a kind of frothy sorbet, in which fruit is folded into an Italian meringue and frozen. Another way is to fold the meringue into the frozen sorbet, and freeze again.
Peach Melba is considered a classic dessert, being invented in the early 1890’s by Auguste Escoffier, a French chef at the Savoy Hotel in London, to honour the Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba, whom the chef was a fan of. The presentation of the newly created dessert in the soprano’s name was true theatre: Chef Escoffier used an ice sculpture of a swan (which featured in the opera) to present the dessert, which carried peaches that rested on a bed of vanilla ice cream and topped with spun sugar. Later, he would make a new version of the dessert with the peaches topped with a raspberry puree or sauce.
In the case of this version of Peach Melba, peaches and raspberries are used and in place of the ice cream, an Italian meringue is made before pureed raspberries and peaches are folded in and frozen. Italian meringue is a cooked meringue (sometimes done over a double boiler) so there is no risk about the consumption of raw egg, such as salmonella.