Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cranberry Lemon Mint Granita

Hellooooo long lost blog friends, can you hear me out there?  Well, yet again, I'm sorry for my prolonged absence, but finishing up a Master's degree and taking three more graduate classes over the summer does not leave me with a ton of time to blog about my feasts and foodasters (yes, another word smash, the man sure does love those).

Well, in celebration of tomorrow's delightful holiday - my favorite one of the whole year, in fact! - I have created the simplest, no frills, stress relieving summer dessert: my Cranberry Lemon Mint Granita.  Okay, first things first, if you don't know what a granita is, it's basically shaved ice.  Second, I know Cranberry Lemon Mint Granita sounds like quite a mouthful, but I promise you it's WAY easier than a flag cake or any other frilly dessert that's just waiting for a culinary mishap.  No thank you, I would not like to end up in the ER on the Fourth of July with third degree burns from fireworks or anything else (much less caramelized sugar that is 200 degrees hotter than the surface of the sun that I'm trying to use to make icing for a stupid flag cake).

So here's what I did.  I went in my fridge and found store brand cranberry juice cocktail and had an epiphany.  This will totally work to make one of those granitas I've been seeing millions of on food blogs and the Food Network lately!  So I poured four cups of the cranberry juice into a large measuring cup with the juice and zest of three lemons.  I unceremoniously dumped in 1/4 cup-ish of sugar and 1/4 cup of light corn syrup (more of both if you like it sweeter).  Then, I walked out into the garden, barefoot in the rain, and picked like 25 to 30 leaves of mint.  I came back, wiped off my feet, and chopped up the mint and dropped it in.  I poured the whole magenta mess into a pot and stuck it on the stove to melt the sugar (literally 2 minutes tops, it doesn't need to boil or anything).

Once that's done, I popped it into my trusty Temptations dish from QVC - seriously, a must have in my kitchen - to cool off.  (Seriously, Temptations!  It's freezer safe, oven safe, dishwasher safe, microwave safe... and GORGEOUS!  What's not to love?!)  Once it was cooled off, I had a fight with some frozen chicken and finally found a spot in the freezer for the granita (finding a place in the freezer to put this was the hardest part by far).

Here's what it looked like once it was in the freezer:

It's ready for its close-up...

Delicious.  Now, every hour or so, I'm going to open that freezer and scrape that little darling with a fork to break up the ice crystals (this will be my stress relief for the day, attacking unsuspecting ice crystals with a fork haha).  Tomorrow, it will be a fluffy mess of refreshing icy goodness.  So excited!

Cranberry Lemon Mint Granita

4 cups cranberry juice (any kind you like)
1 cup water
A handful of mint, chopped
Zest and juice of three lemons
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup

Mix all ingredients together and put in a pot on the stove to melt the sugar.  Then place in a shallow freezer safe dish and scrape once an hour with a fork.  Serve in small ice cream cups or other such simple and cute serving dishes and enjoy!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I'll let you know what the man thinks of this dish after tomorrow is over.  :) <3

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