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Cool summer desserts: homemade granita and sherbet

I came across this recipe for Honeydew Granita in the paper the other day and couldn’t stop thinking about it. When we were invited over for brunch recently I thought it would be the perfect refresher to bring along on a hot summer day.

Only, I didn’t have a honeydew melon on hand. So I put half of the flesh of a seedless watermelon togethergranita with half of the flesh of a freshly-cut pineapple together in the blender. I added 1/2 cup sake and 1/4 cup simple syrup (melted organic sugar with water that I had prepared earlier because I like it in my iced tea). Once blended into a puree, I poured it into an 8×10 pyrex baking dish to put in the freezer.

Well, my intention had been to only mix half of each fruit with the sake and save the rest for a kiddie dessert, but I had little helpers that morning and when I turned my back for a second all of the fruit had been added to the sake mixture.

What can you do when a helpful 5-year old dissolves into tears over a simple kitchen miscommunication? Take a deep breath and move on to plan B.

Plan B meant adding more sake and simple syrup to the doubled amount of fruit and returning it to the blender for further mixing. I poured it back into the baking dish and popped it into the freezer. Every 20 minutes or so, I removed the dish from the freezer and used a fork to break apart the ice crystals and scrape any frozen parts. This is what gives granita it’s granular texture.

homemade sherbetThe rest of Plan B called for adding more pineapple to a clean blender with what was left of the watermelon puree, adding some vanilla soy milk, and pouring it into ice cube trays to make smooth and creamy, non-alcoholic, non-dairy Pineapple-Watermelon Sherbet cubes. I once saw Martha Stewart make homemade strawberry banana sherbet this way and had enjoyed it then.

The day was saved, and while the adults enjoyed their delicious treat the kids enjoyed theirs, and a good time was had by all.

Posted in: Kids, Recipes

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