Another one of the desserts we attempted to serve at the Italian Dinner at the Yoga Center recently was a Granita…
The granita name might transport you to Italy, but we have our own versions all the same. In Puerto Rico we grew up eating “limbers” and “piraguas”. Limbers are basically sweetened and frozen juice and you eat it directly from the small plastic cup in which you freeze it in. Piraguas on the other hand is the traditional shaved ice with flavored syrup on top served on a paper or plastic cone. In essence, granitas are a hybrid of these two local Puerto Rican treats.
I use the help of my trusty food processor to help with the shaving… I am just too anxious to shave the ice by hand. Technology exists for a purpose… let’s take full advantage of it, no??
MANGO GINGER GRANITA
3 cups mango nectar 1 cup water ½ cup raw turbinado or brown sugar 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- We make the ginger simple syrup first… just bring the water, ginger pieces and sugar to a boil in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves completely. Let the ginger steep in the simple syrup while the liquid cools off.
- When the simple syrup has come to room temperature, strain the ginger pieces. Mix together the ginger simple syrup and the mango nectar in a glass 9 x 11 container.
- Place in the freezer for about 6-8 hours for it to fully harden.
- When you’re ready to serve, remove the frozen mango juice mixture from freezer and using a sharp tool, pry it away from the mold and break it off into pieces you can fit into your food processor. Pulse a few times and process until you have a slushy.
Serve in individual cups and enjoy.
If you’d like a more pronounced ginger flavor, I suggest you peel the ginger before steeping it in the simple syrup and do not strain the ginger pieces before mixing in the mango nectar. This way, you can process the frozen ginger pieces together with the rest of the frozen juice and you’ll get a very interesting prominent ginger flavor.