Honey Berry Granita

<img alt="Honey Berry Granita"/>

Remember the snow cones the ice cream truck had for sale?  Hard-packed, brightly colored paper cones of ice that never quite lived up to what I imagined they’d be, and more work than they were worth, requiring biting and gnawing.

No wonder I was so skinny then.

My mother used to make Kool-Aid and pour it into those aqua plastic ice cube trays, twisting them so one or two flavored cubes would pop into a melmac cup, ready to slurp on a warm afternoon.

But even those never quite hit the mark I’d always imagined:  cold, intensely flavored, slushy iciness that is easily enjoyed.  No work.  Just refreshing deliciousness.

Have you ever tried granita?

This is another one that has me thinking of the all the possibilities — no recipe needed.

Fill the bowl of your food processor nearly full with hulled fresh strawberries.  If you have some blackberries that need a home like I did, throw those in, too.  About 4 cups of fruit in all.  Heat 1 cup of water and dissolve 1/4 cup of honey into it.  Run the processor, and slowly pour the honey water into it, keeping an eye on the consistency.  You don’t want it to be too watery.  Try a taste, and check the sweetness you’d like.  Less is more for me.  I love the tart sweetness of the berries.  Add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, give the mixture another swirl, taste one more time, adjust flavor if necessary by adding a few more berries, or more honey water if you’ve not used it all, or a bit more lemon juice.

Get a large metal pan.  Aluminum is fine.  Pour the mixture into the pan and place it in the freezer.  Check it in about 20 or 25 minutes to begin scraping the forming ice crystals from the edges of the pan into the center, smoothing them back down each time.  Set a timer so you don’t forget to do this every 20 minutes or so, until the pan is full of nicely “fluffed” ice crystals.  You’ll be able to tell when it’s nearly ready because it will no longer appear wet.  At that point, using a fork, loosen all the crystals so that they are not holding together in clumps.
Pour the granita into a well-sealed container and store in the freezer until ready to enjoy in bowls, cups, glasses, or, maybe even a paper cone…

Healthy, not loaded with sugary syrup…perfect.

And might a splash of tequilla and a squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of salt be in order?

Like I said.  Possibilities.