Allegra McEvedy's Cox Granita
If you can make ice you can make granita, because that’s all it is, just flavoured water ice – but instead of doing it in cubes on a tray, you texture it by disturbing and layering the freezing crystals.
But before that you have to get some fun into it because frozen water, however interestingly textured it may be, won’t please the critics.
For such a simple thing, I advocate keeping the flavours clean. Here we go for a classic taste of British autumn, but in spring you can do this with mint (and vodka?) and in summer with strawberries. It’s all about catching the granita before it solidifies beyond the pleasure point.
A granita makes a light way to round off a meal, but if you’re really out to impress, serve as a great inter-course of pre-dessert refresher, all for stupidly little effort. Make the base whenever you want, but for best results pop it in the freezer about an hour and a half before you need to eat it.
What a healthy pudding – all the nutritious value of eating raw apples and a couple of thimblefuls of water to boot.
70g caster sugar
1.3 kg Cox’s Pippins (or 600ml best organic apple juice)
Juice of half a lemon
- Put the sugar and 120ml water into a small saucepan, stir slightly so the sugar is all wet, and bring to a rapid boil for 1 minute. Take off the heat and allow to cool down completely.
- Put an 18cm square tray with sides at least 5cm high (or something similar) in the freezer.
- Juice the apples in a juicer and mix with the lemon juice, Alternatively, if you don’t have a juicer, chop the apples into chunks and whiz in a blender with the lemon juice, then strain – make sure you really push the juice through with the back of a spoon. You should end up with about 600ml juice.
- Mix the juice with the cooled sugar syrup and pour into your cold tray. Set in the freezer for about 1.5 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to pull the freezing bits away from the sides of the tray.
When you serve the granita you want it to be crystallised and solid, but not rock hard. If you forget about it and it sets as hard as an iceberg, let it warm up for about 20 minutes on the counter. Then break it up with a fork, chisel or machete and put it back in the freezer to re-set.
Shelf life: Best on the night, but will keep for a few weeks in a Tupperware container.
Best kept: In the freezer.
(C) Allegra McEvedy