September means spring, and spring means strawberries. Now is the time to take advantage of the current glut of this glorious fruit. A simple granita is a lovely way to make the pink, floral joy of strawberries last through til summer.
In this recipe, a little honey boosts the natural sweetness, and the aged balsamic adds a mellow tartness. Make sure you use best quality, aged balsamic vinegar: if you can’t get your hands on any then pomegranate molasses makes a suitable alternative. I always suggest checking and adjusting the sweet/sour balance to taste before returning to the freezer because, as with all fruit, the intensity of the flavours will vary.
(FYI, strawberries are not actually a true botanical berry, but an ‘aggregate accessory fruit’. But straw-aggregateaccessoryfruit doesn’t sound that great.)
• 750g strawberries, washed and hulled
• 4 tbsp hot water
• 4 tbsp local honey
• 1-2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
1. Freeze the strawberries for 3-4 hours.
2. Combine the honey and water and stir until the honey is dissolved. Set aside.
3. Tip the frozen strawberries into a food processor or blender and process until mushy.
4. Add the balsamic vinegar and syrup to the strawberry mush.
5. Transfer to a plastic container and return to the freezer for at least 6 hours or until frozen through.
6. Remove from the freezer and use a fork to scratch and scrape the surface into a mass of rough shards and crystals.
7. Serve immediately in pre-chilled bowls or glasses.
NB: If you have an ice cream maker, you can use it between steps 4 and 5 to create more of a smooth, sorbet-style dessert.
Recipe by Olivia Mackay, www.scoffandquaff.wordpress.com