Elderflower, cucumber, coffee and spritz: Jacob Kenedy’s granita recipes

Kick off your day with a coffee granita, enjoy a very English elderflower, cucumber and gin ice with lunch, and round things off with an iced Aperol spritz

Coffee granita

Ice-cream for breakfast? Yes, please – but it seems so indulgent. Coffee granita, on the face of it, is lighter (until topped with whipped cream), and at least offers a facade of restraint and puritanism. All over Italy, the better caffes will offer coffee granita with cream. In Sicily, they serve it with or in a brioche for good measure.

Prep 5 min
Chill 4 hr+
Makes About 1 litre, to serve 6–10

500ml espresso (or stove-top moka coffee)
300ml water
200g caster sugar

To serve (optional)
Slightly warmed brioche buns
300ml whipping cream
, whipped to soft peaks with 2 tbsp caster sugar

Combine the espresso and water, add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Transfer the mixture to a wide dish and put it in the freezer. Once it starts to freeze at the edges, and every 10–15 minutes thereafter, stir the granita with a fork or whisk it, until it’s almost completely frozen and icy (this will take a long time – perhaps four hours). It is ready to serve once it gets to this slightly wet, slushy state.

To keep it longer, let the granita freeze solid, then, before serving, take it out to thaw for 20 minutes or so, and break it up with a fork. Serve in frozen glasses or brioche buns, topped with sweetened whipped cream, if you like.

Elderflower, cucumber and gin granita

This is a very English granita, if such a thing is not contradictory – three flavours that, above all, scream of queen and country. It would be suitable alongside finger sandwiches and cream tea.

Prep 20 min
Chill 4 hr+
Makes About 1 litre, to serve 5-8

4 large cucumbers
100ml gin

75ml elderflower cordial
180g caster sugar

First juice the cucumbers (with their skins). If you have a juicer, so much the better; if not, grate them finely, or puree them in a food processor, then strain through a sieve or muslin into a measuring jug, twisting and squeezing hard to extract all the liquid.

Stir together the cucumber juice, gin, elderflower cordial and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Check the volume is a litre – if it’s short, make it up with cold water.

Transfer the mixture to a wide dish and put it in the freezer. Once it starts to freeze at the edges, and every 10–15 minutes thereafter, stir with a fork or whisk it, until the mixture is almost completely frozen and icy (this will take up to four hours). It is ready to serve in this slightly wet, slushy state.

To keep it longer, let the granita freeze solid, then, before serving, take it out to thaw for 20 minutes or so, then break it up with a fork. Chill the serving glasses for at least 20 minutes in the freezer before you serve.

Aperol granita

Aperitivo time – and the omnipresent spritz – is Veneto’s gift to the world. You can make a great spritz with Aperol (the lurid orange one), Campari or, perhaps best, Select. And every spritz has its corresponding granita: just use this recipe and substitute the aperitivo of your choosing; you could also substitute white port, red ruby port or medium sherry for the Aperol, and the prosecco for tonic water.

Prep 5 min
Chill 4 hr+
Makes About 1 litre, to serve 5–8

500ml prosecco (or dry white wine)
300ml Aperol
(or Campari or Select)
200ml water
100g caster sugar

In a bowl, stir all the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved.

Transfer the mixture to a wide dish and put it in the freezer. Once it starts to freeze at the edges, and every 10–15 minutes thereafter, stir it with a fork or whisk it, until the mixture is almost completely frozen and icy (this will take a long time – perhaps four hours). It is ready to serve in this slightly wet, slushy state.

To keep it longer, let the granita freeze solid, then, before serving, take it out to thaw for 20 minutes or so, breaking it up with a fork. Chill the serving glasses for at least 20 minutes in the freezer before you serve.

• Recipes extracted from Gelupo Gelato: A Delectable Palette of Ice-Cream Recipes, by Jacob Kenedy, published by Bloomsbury at £14.99. To order a copy for £13.04, go to guardianbookshop.com

Contributor

Jacob Kenedy

The GuardianTramp

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