My friend recently went to Italy and told me all she wanted to do was walk to see all the beautiful scenery, and eat the wonderful food – especially the gelalto. She loved it so much she got a cookbook for making gelato and when I was at her house, I was pretty much drooling over the recipes. I also noticed something in the book called granitas, which are yummy little Italian ices.
I really didn’t know the difference between sorbet and granita until I actually tried a recipe out. This past weekend was incredibly hot so I decided to try making one using our garden raspberries, which we have been enjoying for the past couple of weeks.
The main difference between a granita and sorbet or even ice cream is that you don’t need an ice cream maker to make it! And it really is more like an Italian ice instead of being smooth and creamy like sorbet or ice cream. But very delicious all the same!
I wasn’t really sure if I could use honey in place of the sugar for the granita, but soon found some recipes for granitas that use honey instead of sugar. I couldn’t find a raspberry one with honey, so I used this Raspberry Granita recipe and then simply used honey. I only used 2 1/2 Tbsp. so you may want to use a bit more to make it sweeter.
Honey-Sweetened Raspberry Granita (Adapted from The Global Gourmet) Dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free.
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 Tbsp. honey (it wasn’t super-sweet but sweet enough for my son to love it; add more to taste if you wish)
1. Combine the raspberries, water and honey in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour the purée through a coarse sieve set over a bowl to remove the seeds. Press firmly on the solids with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the solids. ( I didn’t do this because I didn’t care about the seeds. But if you don’t want them stuck in your teeth, it is a good idea.)
2. Freeze the purée, whisking every 30 minutes, until semi-firm, about 3 hours. Cover and freeze without stirring until frozen solid, at least 8 hours or as long as 24 hours. I found it helpful to set my timer every 30 minutes for the first 3 hours so that I would remember to stir it.
3. To serve, using a fork, scrape the surface of the granita to form ice crystals. Scoop the crystals into glasses and serve immediately.
Did I mention my son LOVED this? Well, we all did and it was gone pretty quickly. Enjoy~!