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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sweet Cherry Granita

Granita (noun): A cold treat created from sugar, liquid, and flavorings - frozen or semi-frozen, then scraped or shaved to create an icy crystalline texture. Related to the American snow cone but the ice is more like flakes than pellets. And it's Italian so it's more chic.

Totally great on a hot day. Totally popular at our house. I could barely get a few pictures taken.Cherry pitting is a tedious task but we made it a family affair. And we found out the hard way that it's best to double check that your pitter has done a good job before you whiz them in the food processor. It's not that fun picking out pit bits.

But in the end, the granita was so, so delicious and I'm glad we used fresh cherries. Truly fabulous with a little cream, and of course a cherry, on top.Sweet Cherry Granita (print recipe)
2 pounds cherries, stemmed and pitted -OR- 3 bags (12 ounces each) frozen cherries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1 T fresh lemon juice
Whipped cream or mascarpone cheese, optional, for serving

1. In a blender or food processor, puree cherries, sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish. Freeze 6 hours, scraping with a fork every hour* (mixture should be icy and fluffy.)

2. To serve, scoop 1/2 cup granita into serving dishes and top with a small dollop of whipped cream or mascarpone cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 12 servings

*After the first several scrapings, this can be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 week; scrape again before serving.
Recipe from Everyday Food Magazine, June 2011

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