Iced Coffee and Iced Tea Granitas – Italian Ices
A refreshing end to a meal or a thirst-quenching pick-me-up on a hot summer’s day – a dish of crushed coffee or tea ice.
A granita has a granular semi-slushy texture rather than smooth like a sorbet. It can be made with any type of juice or beverage. It can be made at home quickly and easily without an ice ream maker being required – just process the ice in a food processor or place it in a strong bag and hammer it to the correct consistency with a mallet.
Coffee granita is a neat way to serve coffee with dessert. For best results, use a strong espresso but you can use any of your favorite flavours; just make a strong brew.
Ingredients for coffee granita
2 cups of water
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup very strong expresso-style black coffee, cooled
How to make coffee granita
Heat the water and sugar together in a small thick-bottomed pan over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring it to a boil.
Remove the syrup from the heat and allow it to cool.
Combine the strong coffee with the sugar syrup.
Transfer the mixture to an ice cube tray or shallow container and freeze it until solid.
When completely frozen, remove the mixture from the freezer and plunge the bottom of the container in very hot water for a few seconds to release the contents.
Remove the ice cubes from the tray or turn the slab of frozen mixture out onto a chopping board and break it up into large chunks.
If using a food processor, fit the metal blades and process the mixture until it is reduced to small crystals.
If you do not have a food processor with metal blades, place the chunks of ice in a sturdy plastic bag and beat them with a mallet until the ice is reduced to small crystals.
Spoon the crystals into individual sundae glasses and top with whipped cream, if desired.
If you do not want to serve the Granita immediately, pour the processed mixture into a shallow container or a freezer tray and freeze it until serving time. Allow it to thaw a few minutes before serving or run it through the food processor again.
Iced tea granita
Brew a strong cup of tea. If you are using one of the special tea bags for iced tea, use half the recommended water. If you are using normal tea bags, place three bags in 1½ cups of water and bring to the boil in the microwave or on the stovetop, or pour over 1 ½ cups of boiling water. Remove the tea bags when the mixture is cold.
Follow the recipe above, substituting 1 cup of the strong tea for the cup of coffee.
When using fruit juice, simply use 3 cups of juice and sweeten to taste. Stir well to ensure that the sugar or sweetener has dissolved fully before freezing the juice. Otherwise process as above.
For lemon granita
Substitute the grated zest of one well-scrubbed lemon plus the juice of 2 large lemons for the cup of strong expresso coffee. If using concentrated lemon juice instead, taste the final mixture before freezing. Adjust the mixture if necessary. Otherwise, process as above.