It’s a beautiful day in South Florida. Hot, yes, but sunny and not terribly humid. I started this fine Sunday off playing tennis, and after about an hour of batting the ball around I resembled a half-drowned water rat (not a good look, in case you were unsure). But after a quick shower, I was revived and ready to whip up
something sweet and refreshing. Given the weather, granita came to mind, but I wanted something a little more indulgent – something more like a snowcone on steroids. I ultimately decided to pair a fresh strawberry granita with vanilla ice cream in a simple parfait as a play on strawberries and cream. The result reminds
me of a Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake bar, but, of course, much better (as it’s actually made with real ingredients). You can use homemade ice cream or a good quality store bought – I used Haagen Daaz, which I think is really excellent. Another good option for the granite flavor is orange (think creamsicle) or Campari Grapefruit, a more sophisticated combination.
Makes 6 servings
1 lb/454 g fresh local strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half
¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
½ cup (118 g) water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pint vanilla ice cream (homemade or store-bought)
Make the Strawberry Granita:
1. Toss the strawberries with the sugar and let them macerate at room temperature for 1 ½ hours, until they have released their juices.
2. Add the water and lemon juice and transfer the mixture to a blender; blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the mixture into a shallow plastic container that measure about 8 x 12 inches. Freeze for about an hour.
3. Remove the container from the freezer and, using a fork, scrape any frozen parts of the mixture from the edges into the center, breaking up any large frozen pieces. Return the container to the freezer and continue to scrape as before every half hour, until you have nothing but flaky crystals of strawberry goodness.
Assemble the parfaits:
4. Let the vanilla ice cream stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften.
5. Spoon the ice cream into 6 glasses, diving it evenly and smoothing the tops. Freeze for 30 minutes.
6. Right before serving, spoon the granite on top of the ice cream in each glass.