Sunday, September 23, 2007


Here's a trio of Granitas, the Italian ice with attitude. Lacking the sophistication and smoothness of a sorbet, Granitas are smashing smashes of icy sharp texture and arctic tastes, heaped shavings of flavoured ice piled up in a pre-chilled serving glass. It’s worth giving them a single stir as they freeze, about an hour into freezing, depending on how aggressive your freezer is, just to stop the mixture settling out - but don't over-smooth things, a Granita should be jaggy!

Coffee Granita

  • 200ml strong coffee
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • Generous shaving of nutmeg

Peel the zest into curls using a potato peeler and pour the hot coffee over the curls to allow them to steep. Mix in the brown sugar and stir to dissolve, then the nutmeg. Leave to cool, then strain the mixture and freeze it.

Pineapple Granita

  • 100g fresh pineapple, chunked
  • 200ml water
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

Whizz, strain, freeze.

Orange Granita

  • 200g fresh pineapple, chunked
  • 250g orange segments
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 4cm piece cassia (or cinnamon peel)
  • 275ml water

Boil the cassia in 100ml of the water for five minutes, then remove the cassia and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Add the rest of the water and pour the mixture into a blender, adding the lime juice, pineapple and orange segments (take care there are no pips or pith left on the orange segments and do save as much of the juice as you can when you’re segmenting the orange!) and whizzing. Strain and freeze.


Gianni said...

no, No, NO!

A granita is NOT crushed ice with a flavoring!

Instead you prepare the mix (water with the flavoring of your liking added, e.g. lemon juice and sugar or coffee) then you put the pan in a half barrel full of crushed ice, called the "salamoia".

You then stir and stir and stir while the liquid slowly goes down in to freezing level.

The good granita should be made of tiny crystals of iced mix (water + flavoring), so small you should be able to drink it with a straw.

Savages !!

Alexander said...

Gianni, you Italiano Trolliano!

These recipes ARE for a flavoured mix that is frozen. Just because we used a freezer and not a bucket in a barrel full of ice does not make us savage. Au contraire, I would argue that using buckets and barrels instead of a nice hygienic modern heat exchanger is the savage option!!!

Gianni said...

OK, let's settle this.

Next time you set foot on my country's soil, make sure you have 30 minutes between flight connections: I can pick you outside international arrivals in Linate, drive you to a decent granita parlor, feed you a good one (with some time to orgasm adequately), and drive you back.

In time for your flight, but a different man, promise !

Oh, and ditto for your accomplice, there !

Alexander said...

a) Next time I set feet on Italian soil I'm not letting you know because you have shady friends who'll hurt me.
b) If you're going to buy either of us anything over 30 minutes in Italy, it had better be a superior quality beer.
c) So there.