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Make an easy summer peach granita. No ice cream maker required for this slushy treat!
Summer peach granita
A granita is sort of like a sherbet, except instead of an ice cream like texture, it's more of a snow cone like texture. The great thing about making a granita, is that no special equipment, other than a fork, a bowl and a freezer is required!
You can make just about anything into a granita, and any seasonal fruit will work well, as well as savory vegetable granitas, and even coffee granitas. The only thing to remember is, as you are tasting the granita prior to freezing it, that it should be a little bit too sweet, just a bit. As things get colder, your ability to taste sweetness in them decreases, so if you make a granita just a bit too sweet prior to freezing it, it will taste perfect as you eat it in a frozen state.
A granita makes a very light and refreshing dessert, or can be served as a palate cleanser between courses…if you're feeling fancy.
You will need some simple syrup for this recipe, and if you've never before made it, it's a snap to cook up, and will last indefinitely in the fridge. Boil equal parts sugar and water until all the sugar has dissolved, and there you be. Be careful with this stuff, as it's molten lava before it cools.
An exact recipe for a peach granita is possible, but by not tasting it as you go, you'll never end up with a fantastic granita. All fruits vary considerably in their relative tartness, and sweetness, and you need to taste and adjust the ingredients accordingly.
The first thing you do is to peel, pit and chop some fresh, ripe and fragrant peaches; pop them in the blender, and puree well, until smooth. Add a couple of spoonfuls of syrup and a couple of squeezes of fresh lime, a scant pinch of salt, and taste. You're looking for a sweet tart balance, with a bit of an emphasis towards too sweet. Add more sugar syrup or lime as necessary.
Pour the mixture into any wide flat bottomed container, and transfer to the freezer. Every 20 minutes to half an hour or so, just take a fork, and stir and scrap up the mixture, not allowing it to freeze into a solid mass. Keep doing this for about four hours, and at this point you have a finished granita, that will last for a few days in the freezer.
Because you are using fresh peach puree here, instead of a liquid, as is more customary, this granita will be a little more solid, and a little less icey than normal.
The possible variations are endless, and once you've mastered the basic technique (which shouldn't take too long) you'll be ready to go and play. Strawberry mint, Mexican cinnamon coffee, gazpacho…you name it, you can granita it!