Thursday 6 June 2013


We have tonnes of the stuff in the garden so I've gathered up a bushel and made mint granita. I'm not sure how to serve it so I present both my ideas below, along with the granita recipe. It's very simple and can be made, like all granites, without an ice-cream maker. This is a wonderfully fragrant and fresh summer ice that I will probably use as a palate cleanser following a main course. If you use your garden mint it's a spectacularly cheap dessert element. The mint will regrow in no time anyway. It's almost a weed.

This is the granita on a pineapple crisp 'spoon' that I've developed. You obviously can eat the whole thing. The spoon is made by drying thin slices of sugar-syrup coated pineapple (two hours at 80°C) and folding into shape while the slices are still warm and pliable. Fussy but not at all difficult. Looks cool I think. This is the natural colour by the way, I've added nothing. Looks a little like Kryptonite doesn't it?

Or this would be the more traditional way. A shot glass with a single candied mint leaf (rub egg white into leaves and coat with powered sugar. Leave to dry in a very cool oven). I'm thinking I need to make prettier mint leaves now. 

Mint Granita Recipe. Take 250g of mint leaves. This is a lot. It's this much:

Kind of half-a-bucket-full. Discard any thick stalks. Blanch the leaves, in batches, for ten seconds. No more or you will start to cook them. Plunge the mint into iced water to refresh and prevent further cooking. This will fix the fabulous green colour. After a few minutes, remove the leaves, squeezing out the excess water and dry on kitchen towel (or a normal towel for that matter). The scene now resemebles seaweed after a hefty storm and you'll be thinking: where's all my mint gone? Worry not, it's only the water you've removed.

Blend the leaves with 500g of water and 100g of sugar. Blend for 3 minutes. Really blend! You might have to do this in stints (lovely word) to prevent motor meltdown. Even my robust KitchenAid started to complain.

Sieve the mix through double muslin into a metal container, pref one with a lid. Freeze the mix, whisking every 45 mins or so until the granita begins to crystallise. If you used a lidded container  you can just shake it for a few seconds.

Actually, you can simply freeze it and then scrape the ice block with a fork but this results in much finer ice that melts very quickly. I think it's worth making the effort.

But Lex, you said that was all it the past! No Lex. Noooooo!

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