Strawberry Granita

fresh strawberry granitaSummer brings a host of welcomed changes…longer days, warmer sunshine, fresh fruits and vegetables, being outdoors more, freshly cut lawns, pretty flowers, outdoor social gatherings, and birds singing.  When the temperature soars, it’s time to cool down and a favorite of mine is homemade granita.  Originating in Sicily, granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and flavorings.  It’s the perfect remedy for a hot summer’s day.

A Summer Day
by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The dawn laughs out on orient hills
And dances with the diamond rills;
The ambrosial wind but faintly stirs
The silken, beaded gossamers;
In the wide valleys, lone and fair,
Lyrics are piped from limpid air,
And, far above, the pine trees free
Voice ancient lore of sky and sea.
Come, let us fill our hearts straightway
With hope and courage of the day.

Noon, hiving sweets of sun and flower,
Has fallen on dreams in wayside bower,
Where bees hold honeyed fellowship
With the ripe blossom of her lip;
All silent are her poppied vales
And all her long Arcadian dales,
Where idleness is gathered up
A magic draught in summer’s cup.
Come, let us give ourselves to dreams
By lisping margins of her streams.

Adown the golden sunset way
The evening comes in wimple gray;
By burnished shore and silver lake
Cool winds of ministration wake;
O’er occidental meadows far
There shines the light of moon and star,
And sweet, low-tinkling music rings
About the lips of haunted springs.
In quietude of earth and air
‘Tis meet we yield our souls to prayer.

Serves 4 to 6
4 cups ripe strawberries, washed and sliced
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

sliced strawberriesIn a bowl, combine strawberries and sugar. Let this sit for 30 minutes or longer to enhance the flavors. Add water and purée strawberries. Adjust according to taste; you may need to add more sugar or more lime juice if too sweet. Strain to remove seeds and pour strained mixture into a glass lasagna pan. Freeze until mixture is frozen (about 1 1/2 hours), stirring edges into center every 20 to 30 minutes. Use a fork to scrape granita into flaky crystals.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: For an adult version, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vodka.  Enjoy!