Monday, August 23, 2010

Rosie Makes Watermelon Lime Granita.

I hit the jackpot on my watermelon and lime granita with a hint o' mint.
It doesn't get much better than this on a hot summer's day, when the temperatures are in the 90's and you want something light, delicious, and refreshing. Be careful. Steer just short of a brain freeze. What's granita? Granita is a classic Italian dessert. It's a grainy ice with intense fruit flavoring. It has a unique, coarse, crystalline texture which comes from partially freezing the mixture, then raking it with a fork, then freezing a little more, then re-raking, repeated several times.
Some time ago - I believe it was during the winter - while waiting for an oil change, I was thumbing through the months-old magazines and found two recipes which I quickly jotted down in the little notebook I carry with me. One was for a lemon basil granita and the other for a cucumber mint granita. I'll get to those one of these days, but they inspired me to make a watermelon lime granita today. You may think of this as Watermelon Moreovers. First, make a simple syrup.
Simple syrup: 1 1/2 cups water 3/4 cups sugar There are a gazillion recipes for simple syrups. Different ratios. I bet I could have used Splenda in this without compromise of flavor.
Mix sugar and water, bring to boil, and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. That's BTB and RTS! Chef Anne Burrell: Bring To Boil and Reduce To Simmer! Set aside and let cool.
Ideally, a seedless watermelon would be best for this, but I used what I had. This is 1/2 of a large melon, seeded, cut into chunks, and placed in my Cuisinart.
I love the flavors of lime and watermelon together, so I zested ...
... and juiced a lime.
My ingredients: watermelon chunks from 1/2 large melon simple syrup, cooled juice and zest of one lime
I poured in the simple syrup.
Poured in the lime juice.
Dixie is paying attention in the background.
And shook in the zest. Pulse everything down in the processor.
I love the colors here. Now, can anyone tell me what mistake I made? I don't know what I was thinking except that I wasn't thinking. I overloaded my Cuisinart. Red juice started spurting out of the processor and pooling on my counter top. So I poured half into another bowl and processed the remaining half.
I poured the processed mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and the remaining watermelon mixture into the Cuisinart. Taste test. It needed more lime.
I juiced ... (Junior wants out.)
... and zested another lime.
Pulse process and pour into the pan. Place in the freezer, uncovered.
After 30 minutes, come in and rake the granita with a fork.
Every thirty minutes or so fork it.
This went on for about three hours
until I got the consistency I wanted.
I loved the texture. Icy, crunchy-smooth shavings. I loved the flavors. Fresh fruity melon. The brightness and subtlety of the lime juice and zest The delicate kiss of sweetness.
The mint is a very nice touch.
The greenery on the bright red melon.
Mr. Hawthorne, Youngest Hawthorne, and I all loved this.
I placed a few sprigs of mint in the granita, covered it with plastic wrap, and returned it to the freezer. The next day, take out of freezer, let sit for about 10 minutes, then scrape up again.
Enjoy the pictures.
Better yet, make your own and enjoy the granita.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want some of that NOW!!!!