Granita and Tips for Granita Success

Granita

  A granita is the simplest of all frozen desserts: just fruit and sugar, cooked or sometimes just blended, poured into a 9 × 13-inch baking pan, placed in the freezer, and stirred with a fork a few times while it chills. A couple of hours later, you a have a pan of jewel like ice crystals which you scrape up and mound in a dessert cup or even a martini glass. Cold, crunchy, sweet, and refreshing what could be better? Oh, fat free, too.
  All that stirring and scraping are designed to break up the ice crystals as they freeze, preventing the concoction from becoming a solid block. In fact, granite (gra-nee-TAY, the plural of granita) are so named in Italian because they look like clear, sandy grains in a glass.
  If you want to start easy, just testing out the technique, pour two cans of carbonated soda in a 9 × 13-inch baking pan, place it on the floor of the freezer, and freeze for about 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so to get the ice crystals broken up and even. Scrape up with a fork and enjoy.
  Granite are related to “water ices” in that they too are icy pleasures without cream or eggs. But those are creamier than granite, often made with corn syrup, sometimes even churned in an ice cream machine. A granita is more like shaved ice, sometimes called “Italian ice,” a treat popular on the streets of New York City in the August blaze. Vendors push around little carts from which they scrape the icy mixture into little cups; you slurp it up without a spoon.
But the real thing is grainier still, the result of a little patience and even less effor no more than a few stirrings over a couple of hours.
Granita

Superfine Sugar :

Many of these recipes call for no cooking at all—just blend and freeze. In these, we call for superfine sugar, a favorite of bartenders. It’s granulated sugar ground to a fine powder so it will dissolve quickly. Look for superfine sugar in the baking or the drinks aisle of your supermarket.

Want to Skip All That Stirring?

Pour any of the following mixtures into two or three ice-cube trays and freeze without stirring, for at least 3 hours. (Trays vary in size, so there’s no way to say exactly how many you’ll need.) Unmold the cubes into a large food processor fitted with the chopping blade and pulse a few times until icy. It’s not exactly the same consistency—the crystals are a little more watery but it’s certainly a no-hassle approach to this Italian favorite.

Three Tips for Granita Success :

1. Place the baking pan right on the floor of your freezer, the coldest part. When you stir up the granita for the last time, smooth it out so that the surface is level, without little bunches of crystals that harden into lumps. After the last stirring, cover the pan with plastic wrap to protect the granita from freezer odors.
2. Self-defrosting freezers can murder a good granita; the constant change in temperature will ruin those sparkly crystals you’ve worked to create. If you have a self-defrosting freezer, it’s best to eat the granita within a day of making it.
3. A fancy, stemmed glass—such as a wineglass, a martini glass, or a brandy snifter—works best to show off a granita when you serve it.
Other recipes Gelato : Here
Resoure : The Ultimate Frozen Dessert Book
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