It makes perfect sense that most people invest in a juicer to fulfill their raging desire to hop on the fresh juice wagon. While this crazy-good healthy purpose is an excellent rationale, there’s a whole ‘nother juicing world to explore in the cooking realm.
With a little ingenuity and know-how all sorts of fresh culinary delights are begging to be made like soups, cocktails, jellies, sauces, and one of my all-time favorites- granita.
A sister dish to sorbet and Italian Ice, granita is often served as a dessert or palate cleanser between courses. Making granita is easy to master but does require a little time and patience to perfect. If you are planning to serve it at dinner, it’s best to prep in the morning. You’ll need 4-5 hours set time prior to serving.
The best juicer to use for creating granita is a slow juicer, like the Ronco Smart Juicer or the Hurom Slow Juicer. Slow juicers do an excellent job of reducing waste and extracting nearly every drop of juice from your fruits and veggies. For this recipe, we used the Ronco juicer, and were pleased with how much juice it was able to extract.
Pear Basil Granita
1 cup Water
1/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Pear Juice, fresh
2 sprigs Basil
In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, add water and sugar. Stir constantly until completely dissolved. Heat until liquid is hot, but not boiling. (You’ve just created what is known as “simple syrup.”)
Remove sauce pan from heat. Add basil sprigs.
Allow liquid to cool completely. Remove sprigs and discard.
Use juicer to juice 1 cup of fresh pear juice (typically 1-2 pears, depending on size and extraction capabilities of your juicer.)
Alternatively, if you do not have access to a juicer, organic unsweetened pear juice may be substituted.
In a medium flat-bottom glass bowl, combine pear juice and simple syrup.
Place in the freezer, uncovered on a flat surface. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
On 30 minute mark, remove granita from freezer, stir and return to freezer immediately. Set a timer for 45 minutes.
At 45 minute mark, remove granita from freezer. Use a fork to stir and scrape down the “ice” from the sides of the granita mixture. Return to freezer immediately after scraping. Set time for 30 minutes.
At 30 minute mark, remove granita from freezer. The mix should be nearly frozen throughout at this point. Now you have a choice, you can either create a smooth granita or a “grainy” one. I happen to like the grainy texture as it reminds me of shaved ice, but the smooth will be closer to sorbet, if that’s your preference.
Smooth – stir mixture with a fork, scrape down sides, stir again and immediate return to the freezer.
Grainy – scrape down sides with a fork then scrape through entire mix. Immediately return to the freezer.
For both smooth and grainy, continue to repeat the process above every 30 minutes until mixture is frozen throughout.
Once fully frozen, the granita is ready to serve. Ideally, serve within 1-2 hours. Garnish with a sprig of basil, if desired.
Extra granita can be stored for 1-2 days, but will begin to degrade after, so it’s best to consume at it’s freshest point.