Strawberry Basil Granita

  • Strawberry Basil Granita | the little epicurean

    My childhood friends and I were making granitas way before we even knew what it was. Growing up I loved drinks that came in cool containers: think Sqeezit, Capri Sun, and Kool-Aid Bursts. Yes, definitely not the most healthy choices, but those were our favorites. Although, I don’t know if I could stomach them at this age. Anyway, during summer months, we would raid the fridge and combine different juices and soft drinks to create even sweeter concoctions. We would make such a large batch that we’d end up freezing a ton of leftovers. For the next couple of days, we’d grab spoons and start shaving the frozen juices and to make homemade slushies.

    Now that summer is almost here (Memorial Day is next week!), it’s time to start thinking about barbecues, picnics, and pool parties. While I love all these outdoor festivities and get-togethers, my favorite part of warmer weather is definitely all the frozen treats!

    Unlike popsicles and ice cream which require additional tools or equipment, very little is needed to make granita at home. All you really need is a baking dish (such as bread loaf pan or casserole dish) and a freezer. With strawberry season in full swing, my kitchen is stocked with pounds and pounds of strawberries (thanks Mom!). Luckily I’ve found the best way to them all up: strawberry basil granita!

    Strawberry Basil Granita | the little epicurean

    Granita is the sophisticated, well-traveled older sister of slushie and shaved ice. But don’t worry, granita making is not complicated. It’s actually quite simple. It’s only downfall is that it takes some time to make.

    You can use any freezer safe dish for granita. I used a metal bread loaf pan because it fits nicely in my tiny freezer. You can use casserole dishes, baking pans, or pie tins. Just remember, the larger the surface area and shallower the pan, the quicker the granita will freezer. Since I used a loaf pan, it took a little bit longer for the granita to set up.

    To make the liquid base, I blended together fresh strawberries, some water and basil infused simple syrup. If you’d like, you can strain out the little tiny strawberries seeds. I keep them in because they don’t bother me. Pour the liquid into your desired dish and place it in the freezer. Check on the mixture every 30 minutes. Each time, remove the dish from the freezer and scrape up any icy bits have begun to form. After about an hour, the mixture will look creamy like a sorbet. After about 90 minutes, it should more like shaved ice.

    Strawberry Basil Granita | the little epicurean

    That’s it! In about 2 hours, you’ll have this delicious and refreshing strawberry basil granita. If you’re in the festive mood, go ahead a pop a bottle of prosecco or any sparkling wine. Top off a glass full of this granita for one delicious mimosa!

    Strawberry Basil Granita | the little epicurean

    Strawberry Basil Granita

    Yield: serves 4

    Ingredients:

    • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
    • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/2 cup basil simple syrup

    Basil Simple Syrup

    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn

    Directions:

    1. In a blender, combine strawberries, lemon juice, and water. Process until smooth. Add simple syrup, stir to combine. Taste and adjust sweetness by adding more syrup if necessary.
    2. Pour liquid mixture into a freezer safe pan*. Freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and use a fork to stir up icy liquid. Return to freezer and remove every 30 minutes to scrape contents. It should take about 90 minutes to 2 hours until the mixture has turned into ice crystals and looks like an icy slushy . Serve immediately, or cover and enjoy later.

    Basil Simple Syrup: Combine water, sugar, and basil in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain out basil and store simple syrup in the fridge until ready to use. Keeps for one week.

    The Little Epicurean

    Strawberry Basil Granita | the little epicurean

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    Comments

    Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life

    These photos are gorgeous! I want to jump right in with a spoon and taste it for myself! Luckily my parents and my sister live down the road from a strawberry farm and as soon as the season starts I will have my hands on some farm fresh berries to try out this gorgeous granita for myself :) So delicious!
    Also, my sister and I used to make ‘granita’ too, in Australia we have an ice block called a Sunny Boy and the orange ones were the best flavour!

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Thanks Amy! There was a big strawberry festival in nearby Oxnard this weekend, hence the abundance of strawberries! I just googled SunnyBoy, and I think I’d definitely like that “granita” :)

    Sarah | Broma Bakery

    You are my go-to frozen gal. You just know how to make ’em! Can I come over?

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Thanks Sarah! I’ll be the frozen treats, you bring the brownies and we’ll make it a PARTY!

    Tina @ Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

    This looks so deliciously refreshing! I want to leap through my screen and grab some of that right now :D

    ellie | fit for the soul

    Okay remember how I just told you about Tebo tebo???!!! I forgot to mention that they have the yummiest “sweet and dessert-y” teas ever! I actually don’t enjoy sweet drinks (for the most part) but when I had a sip–or two, or three, of my friend’s green tea with fruit and basil seeds I was like–everybody! stop the world. right now! And this reminds me of it bc of the fruity component and basil. And btw! not sure if you saw my email but i can’t wait to meet you someday! ;))

    Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)

    Strawberries are my fave thing ever. Looking at this is making me unbelievably hungry. I love the hint of basil in this!

    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Maryanne, haha, my brother, sister and I did the same thing as kids! :P I love this granita recipe!!! this will be perfect for our Memorial Day festivities! beautiful!

    Saunier

    This is great recipe for hot summer days! I will try this :)

    Kennedy Cole@ Kcole's Creative Corner

    Hello! I recently made a cooking blog that may appeal to you. I would really appreciate it if you would check it out! Please let me know if you would like email updates on new blog posts. https://kcolescreativecorner.wordpress.com
    Thank you!

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