Monday, July 13, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Lemon Granita


On July 11 - yes, that’s 7/11 - Paul and I, along with thousands of other Winnipeggers, did our patriotic duty as loyal citizens.
We went to our local 7-Eleven for Slurpee Day.
We had to make sure Winnipeg kept its title of the Slurpee Capitol of Canada!


it was a blistering hot day at 32º C.
With the humidity it felt like 40º C.
We most certainly did enjoy our free cups!
I had settled on the lime flavour.
I would’ve loved a lemon.
But, lime was good, too. 

I grew up on lemon granitas.
It was just something Ma had on hand during the summer.
Sometimes we even had it with breakfast.

Granita is another way to use simple syrup as a base for a cold dessert.
it’s not as fruity as a sorbet.
But you can serve it with as much fresh fruit as you want.
And the recipe doesn't call for any vodka, if you were worried about the kids.


Hints:

The measurements are a starting point.
If you want it sweeter or tarter, no problem.
Adjust the amounts of lemons and sugar.
Think of it as making a cup of instant coffee.
You don’t exactly measure the crystals or sugar, you just suit yourself.

If, after you've first placed the container in the freezer, the slush has become as hard as a rock, don’t panic.
You can leave it at room temperature and eventually it will be softened enough to break into chunks that you can put in the blender.

If, when you are ready to serve it, it has frozen too hard, let the granita sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
Then work the mixture with the back of a large metal spoon until soft.

For a red, white and blue treat for the fourth of July, layer the lemon granita with strawberry and blueberry granitas.


                        Lemon Granita

Serves 4-6

Peel the zest from 
4 lemons
Set aside.

Squeeze the lemons to make 
2/3 Cup lemon juice

Place in a large saucepan
4 Cups water
3/4 Cup sugar
Bring it to a boil over medium heat.
Then turn down the heat to low.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved - about 2 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and lemon zest.
Cover and let steep for 30 minutes. 

Place a strainer over a large container that has a cover.
Strain the mixture into the container.  
Let cool to room temperature.
Cover and freeze until partially frozen, about 2 - 3 hours. 

Take the frozen granita out of the freezer and leave it at room temperature until you can break it up into chunks with a large spoon.  
Grind these chunks in a blender until it is like a slurpee.  
Return to covered container and place in freezer until ready to serve. 

When ready to serve, remove from the freezer about 15 minutes in advance.
Beat it again to give it a creamy texture.  
Serve the granita in glasses or small bowls.
Garnish it with mint or fruit.

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