Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blackberry Granita with Whipped Cream

Although the summer months have waned, we are fortunate in California to find our local grocery store shelves still stocked with fresh blackberries and raspberries. With pie season in full swing, I wanted to create a recipe for something cool and smooth to serve as a complementary dessert... so that our holiday guests may choose to enjoy both warm pie and cool sweetness at our table.

There are several attractive things about this granita recipe. First, it is extremely simple to make. Next, during berry season it is a highly inexpensive and satisfying alternative to buying a half-gallon of ice cream. Lastly this is a very healthy dessert using only a handful of ingredients... but so delicious your family and friends will never miss all of the additives, sweeteners and preservatives they are accustomed to in regular store-bought treats.

Top your homemade blackberry granita with freshly whipped cream for extra perfection.

Homemade Blackberry Granita with Whipped Cream

What You’ll Need:

2 ½ cups fresh blackberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup Z-sweet (or sugar)
¾ cup water

For Topping:
½ pint heavy whipping cream
1 ½ tbsp Z-sweet (or sugar)

How It Works:

Combine water, Z sweet and lemon juice in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Remove from heat and allow the syrup you have created to cool.

In a blender or food processor, add blackberries. Blend them at least one minute or until extremely smooth. Next, add cooled syrup and continue to blend until well combined. The consistency should be completely fluid, with no lumps.

Pour blackberry granita mixture into a small metal bowl or nonstick metal baking pan (I use one that is 13x9x2) and place into freezer. Freeze for approximately 30 minutes, then stir all of the icy outer parts into the center of the bowl or pan and continue freezing. Check every 20 minutes or so, and continue scraping the edges into the center... for about two hours. (Our freezer doesn't get very cold, so this process takes about three hours at our house.)

Finally, cover tightly and freeze. This recipe can be made up to one day in advance.

To serve, scoop or scrape your gorgeous blackberry granita into bowls and top as desired with sweetened whipped cream.

Serves 4 – 6.

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