photo by Rob Streeter Food and prop styling Jennifer Joyce
I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but in Britain its (I know, shocking) blustery and wet. Thankfully these photos were taken a couple of weeks ago while it WAS nice. Albeit the absence of sunshine, I still continue to bbq and eat like its summer. Since visiting Puglia in June, I’ve been obsessed with making granita. Every street corner and beach there sells these fruity slushes and they are mightily refreshing in the intense heat. With all the lush berries and melons in season right now, its a simple dessert and perfect way to showcase their ripe sweet flavours.
Essentially its sugar, pureed fruit and a little citrus, so its fairly healthy to eat. Unlike sorbet or home-made ice-cream, you don’t need an ice-cream maker. The only pain is having to sieve the pureed fruit, but if you use a spatula and fine mesh strainer, it can be done pretty swiftly. This recipe makes a big portion of 2 litres and partially fills a 13″ X 9″ cake pan. If you’re going to go to the trouble of making it, why not make a double batch? All that chopping and sieving isn’t worth filling one small container. Once its done you can scrap it into a tupperware/plastic box and leave it in the freezer for up to a month. Any fruit can be used to make this: pineapple, melon, raspberry, passion fruit, mango, blueberries, or cherries. So if you find yourself with a heap of excess fruit from the farmers market, pick-it-yourself farm or country road stand now you know what to do with it. Sunshine isn’t a requirement.
Makes 2 litres
2lbs strawberries washed, hulled and sliced
4 tbsp lime juice
300ml/10 fl oz/ 1 and 1/4 cup water
250g/8oz/1 and 1/4 cup castor sugar
Bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly syrupy. Remove and let cool completely until cold. Puree the fruit in a food processor and then press through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the pulp and only use the sieved fruit. Mix the cooled syrup and lime with the fruit. Pour into a shallow 13 inch X 9 inch baking dish and place in the freezer. After 1 hour, scrap the mixture with a fork and freeze again for another 30 minutes. When breaking up the ice crystals, make long scrapes, raking the fork down the mixture repeatedly. Avoid mixing it up, which will result in a smooth texture more like sorbet. Repeat until all of the mixture is grainy crystals, about 2 more times. Scrape into a covered plastic container and freeze.
NOTE: 2lbs is the weight of the fruit after peeling, hulling and chopping.
Check out my healthy summer salads feature in BBC GOOD FOOD’s August issue. I’ve written the recipes and food styled the photographs.