Monday, June 11, 2007
OUR FIRST SUMMER DESSERT CHALLENGE!!!
Fresh Local Strawberry Granita
(prepared while listening to side one of Van Halen
Go to your local farmers market/green market and buy
3-4 pints of strawberries. Might be around 20 bucks
or so, maybe more, but fuck it, its strawberry season,
AND yer supporting a local farmer. If you buy
Drsicolls strawberries from the supermarket, I swear,
the recipe won't work....so don't do it! Those
Toss the berries in a big bowl, and then start slicing
'em up in quarters. Cover with sugar (to
taste....maybe you got some super-sweet ones, I
dunno). If you got the local ones, then they'll be
bright, beautiful RED all the way through. Nice.
Split open a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and
add to the mix...toss the vanilla pod in, too. Don't
have a vanilla bean? Email me...I'll send you one.
Strawberries and vanilla are pals. You could also add
some scrapings of fresh ginger. Ginger and
strawberries are also very nice partners. See some
fresh lemon verbena, lemon balm, or chocolate mint at
the market? Rip it up and toss it in. Finely minced
lime zest? Sure. But stick with just strawberries
and ONE other seasoning just to keep it simple...after
all it's summer and I'm making you listen to Van
Now let this sit in the fridge for 4 hours.
After 4 hours your berries will have released a mess
of beautiful bright red liquor. Strain this through a
fine strainer and a cheesecloth...don't press
down...you only want the liquid...we'll deal with the
berry goop LATER. Taste the liquid. Super
concentrated, too sweet, not sweet enough? Re-season
to taste with more sugar or bottled water, until you
have a liquid that tastes JUST too sweet to drink
straight. Pour into a shallow lidded plastic
container and then throw it in the freezer.
If you wanna be pro, let this stuff freeze and then
stir it all day as it freezes with a fork, until you
have irregular grainy crystals. Stir every hour or
HOWEVER, you can just freeze it into a solid block and
then scrape away tomorrow....ALMOST as good. You just
want a nice crumbly irregular texture, like shaved
ice. If its goopy and sorbet-ish, then you added too
much sugar....so melt it down and add some spring
That's it, yer done. Serve in chilled bowls with a
couple fresh strawberries that you kept behind. Top
with whipped, unsweetened creme fraiche.....uh, store
bought vanilla ice cream....you get the idea.
Sorry, this ain't gonna travel well, so the BBQ better
be at your house. However, if it melts en route, then
just re-freeze it, no sweat. Or just mix the melted
liquid with sparkling water and Campari. Awesome, and
OK, the leftover strawberry goop that you strained the
liquid off of? Cook it down, make jam. Add brown
sugar and star anise for a nice spiced marmalade
that's good with a cheese plate, especially something
goaty. Delicious. If yer a lucky NYC resident, then
smear it on Sullivan Street Bakery pugliese.
Have fun, but remember, this is a highly perishable
recipe, only local berries (!), and no oven
whatsoever, but, yes, Van Halen.
THANKS BROOKS!! THAT RULES UNION SQ IS TEEMING WITH BERRIES! I AM SO MAKING THIS AND POSTING PICS!! OK Y'ALL. WHO IS UP NEXT?