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RECIPE: Make Grape Granita

Before there were sorbet makers, there was granita, hand-scraped in ice cube trays as the mixture freezes (it‘s also known as shaved ice).

Granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and flavoring—typically fruit or coffee. A precursor of sorbet and Italian ice, it originated in Sicily, where the texture remains coarser and more crystalline (crunchier) than in other parts of Italy.

The preferred texture varies from region to region: chunkier in the western regions and smoother in the eastern regions. The texture is the result of how little or much the mixture is agitated while freezing. But no matter how smooth the granita, it is never as smooth as sorbet. A little “crunch” on ice makes it a unique recipe.

 

Grape granita: crunchy, grapey ice crystals. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

 

Granita is fun to make. The scraping of the ice crystals can be delegated to kids, who will enjoy making their dessert or snack.

This recipe for grape granita was created by chef Chris Faulkner for Melissas.com.

 

Red Muscato grapes. Photo courtesy
Melissas.com.

 

GRAPE GRANITA RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water, divided use
  • 3/4 pound Muscato grapes*
  • Lemon juice to taste
  •  
    For a more adult flavor profile, add a tablespoon of grappa or vodka.
     
    *Muscato grapes are available in red or green. Red grapes add a pinkish color to the granita; green grapes produce a paler product. Muscato, Muscat and Moscato are the same grape.

     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the wine, sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer the syrup for 5 minutes and let it cool.

    2. PURÉE the grapes with the syrup in a blender or food processor and strain the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the solids.

    3. STIR in 1 cup cold water and the lemon juice; chill the mixture, covered, until cold. Stir the mixture and transfer it to 2 metal ice cube trays without dividers, or a shallow metal bowl.

    4. FREEZE, stirring with a fork every 20 to 30 minutes and crushing the large frozen clumps. Do this for 2 to 3 hours, or until the granita is firm but not frozen solid.

    5. SCRAPE the granita with a fork to lighten the texture and serve it in chilled bowls.

    MORE GRANITA RECIPES

  • Grapefruit Granita
  • Grapefruit Tarragon Granita
  • Watermelon Mint Granita
  •  
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FROZEN DESSERTS IN OUR ICE CREAM GLOSSARY.

      




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