24 July 2009

Blueberry Pomegranate Granita


Summer Berries

One of my favorite things about summer in this part of the country is the glorious local blueberries that are so abundant in markets at this time of year. From tiny and tart to huge and juicy-sweet this berry is a pleaser. My favorite berries from Meadowglenn Farm are enormous. These are some of the blueberries I bought from them yesterday at the Camas Farmer' Market...


Blueberries have their advantages over other seasonal berries in the Northwest. Their bushes are neat and pretty and, best of all, thornless, making the berries easy to gather cleanly without prick or stain. What's more, the flavor is nothing short of amazing. Tangy-sweet, smooth and attractive these berries hold up to cheeses, nuts, herbs and spices in both looks and taste. Fresh berries also cook rather cleanly in muffins and cakes, and make a beautiful garnish.

Who Needs An Ice Cream Freezer?

Here is a recipe that makes the most of the blueberry's great summer flavor. I don’t have an ice cream freezer but when the temperature soars I always find myself reconsidering. Still I wonder where to put another appliance and know I would likely make more ice cream than I need to eat.

Talking myself out of a new ice cream maker I decided instead to dig through my recipes for notes on a granita I used to make when we lived in Texas. Granitas are like shaved ice but softer and frozen with the flavor in the ice.

I never found the recipe I remembered but decided to try making a granita anyway. With my comments above in mind I took fresh blueberries, herbs, spice, tangy pomegranate juice, a splash of summery lime and honey, then cooked it briefly to meld the flavors and pushed it through a sieve to get out berry skins, leaves and stray bits before freezing it in a shallow pan.

The flavor was nothing short of wonderful. Fresh, tart-sweet, complex with a lingering note of ginger, it is a great way to end a light summer meal. Who needs an ice cream freezer? This stuff is amazing!


Blueberry Pomegranate Granita

2 cups blueberries
¼ cup loosely packed basil leaves or sprigs
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
½ cup pomegranate juice

Place ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until berries are soft, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place a strainer over a bowl. Pour the mixture into the strainer and press it through the mesh with the back of a spoon. Scrape the thick part from the bottom of the strainer into the bowl. Discard the skins and solid bits remaining.

Pour the strained mixture in a shallow pan and place it in the freezer.

After 30 minutes, stir the mixture with a fork, scraping the sides and bottom and crushing any frozen lumps. Return to the freezer repeating every 30 minutes until the entire mixture is frozen, approximately 3 hours.

This can be made a day in advance. Crush well, again, just before serving.

Enjoy!!

6 comments:

Susan said...

This is the very first time that my mouth actually watered while looking at a picture---your picture of this fantastic granita. Love it, absolutely love it. And, great photography.

Oakley Rhodes said...

Oh, yum! My favorite smoothie (an occasional treat from Jamba) is pomegranate paradise, and this looks like it would taste just like that! Yum! How refreshing.

Grace said...

the fact that the bushes are gloriously thornless is only one of the many things that make blueberries such a treasure. this is a win-win creation--very aesthetically-pleasing (LOVE the color) and absolutely mouth-watering!

the ungourmet said...

Oh my goodness, this is wonderful! Blueberries are one of my favorites. One of the things I love about these berries is the way they keep so much longer than other berries.

I've never tried to make a granita. This is a terrific combination of flavors.

noble pig said...

Oh I am going to mae this with my berries! Thank you Lisa!

Bunny said...

I love that color, I make it just to see that beautiful color!