About this recipe:A granita is a refreshing alternative to ice-cream, with a delightful texture. Make this in strawberry season, when the berries are at their peak of sweet flavour and perfume – if your strawberries are very ripe and sweet, you won't need to add much sugar. The granita is served with a strawberry sauce.
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) ripe strawberries, sliced
85 g (3 oz) caster sugar, or to taste
240 ml (8 fl oz) cranberry juice
strawberries or mixed strawberries and raspberries to decorate
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Method Prep:2hr45min › Ready in:2hr45min
Put the strawberries in a bowl, sprinkle over the sugar and toss together. Cover and leave to macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Tip the strawberry mixture into a food processor or blender and process to a smooth purée. Taste the purée and add more sugar according to taste and the sweetness of the fruit. Reserve 150 ml (5 fl oz) of the purée to serve as a sauce.
Mix the remainder of the purée with the cranberry juice. Place in a shallow metal tray and freeze for about 30 minutes or until the mixture has set softly round the edge.
Using a fork, scrape the partially frozen mixture from the edge into the still liquid centre. Return the tray to the freezer and freeze for a further 20 minutes. Scrape the frozen edge into the centre again, then return to the freezer once more. Repeat the scraping and freezing two or three more times, until you have a mixture that consists of separate, almost fluffy, soft ice crystals.
Serve the granita in dessert goblets or in bowls, decorated with a few berries and accompanied with the sauce.
Some more ideas
To increase the fruit content of this dessert even more, serve it layered with more berries or other sliced fruit. * For a quick sorbet, freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray, with dividers, until firm, then pop the cubes out of the tray and whiz in a food processor with about 6 tbsp cranberry juice, or just enough to achieve a light and fluffy consistency. Serve straightaway. * Make the mixture into a sorbet using an ice-cream machine, following the manufacturer's instructions. * Add sliced ripe peaches to the berry garnish, to boost the vitamin C content.
Strawberries offer more vitamin C than any other berry (77 mg per 100 g/3½ oz, as compared with raspberries at 32 mg and blackberries at 15 mg). They are also low in calories – a portion of 100 g (3½ oz) contains just 27 kcal. * Cranberry juice contains a compound that prevents E. coli bacteria from causing urinary-tract infections.