The days are gradually getting warmer and my cravings for cold treats have gone up immensely. I love frozen desserts and to me there is something incredibly satisfying and comforting in making a traditional ice cream and watch it churn away. Ice creams are delicious no doubt but when it is really hot I prefer granita. It is much lighter and you can make it without an ice cream machine, in fact it is best made without to get that specific granita texture and it is so very easily made. Making elderflower granita is a very logic choice these days since they are in season.
Elderflower cordial can be easily bought in the store, but it is just as easily made once you found a spot to pick elderflowers. It is a lot of fun to make your own and you have the choice of using less sugar or adding more lemons and tweaking it to your liking. I have two versions of this cordial, one is elderflower cordial with citric acid and the other is elderflower cordial without citric acid.
I love my granita coarse and resembling a crystalline texture. I adore it when it looks like someone crushed precious stones and I sure don’t mind a chunky bit of fruit here and there. Of course you can make yours as fine as possible and have it resemble sorbet – there is nothing wrong with that.
I specifically chose honeydew melon since its flavour and colour pairs beautifully with elderflower granita. It amplifies the delicate yellow colour and adds freshness and sweetness without overpowering the elderflower. Because both the fruit and the cordial are intensely sweet I added a whole lemon instead of just the juice. It adds just a hint of tartness that puts everything into balance and takes this frozen dessert to the next level.
Granita is best made ahead because it can be tricky. Sometimes it takes what feels like forever to freeze due to the sugar content. It stores very well in an airtight container for a few weeks but my granita is always long gone before it could possibly spoil. Elderflower granita is fantastic served as it is but it also pairs brilliantly with fresh fruit. While it is a child friendly dessert you can booze it up by adding a bit of gin while freezing it or serve it in a cocktail by using it as fancy, crushed ice.
- 1 honey dew melon - 1 kg (2 lb) cleaned honey dew melon
- 1 unwaxed lemon
- 350ml (1½ cups) elderflower cordial (homemade or bought)
- Cut the honeydew melon into half, remove the seeds, remove the flesh from the peel and add it to a food processor.
- Wash and cut an unwaxed lemon into chunks and remove the seeds - if there are any. Add them to the melon chunks and process until it reaches desired consistency. I tend to process mine until there are a few chunks of lemon left but you can process it until it is perfectly blended if you prefer smooth granitas.
- Add the elderflower cordial and process for a few seconds until it is evenly combined. Pour it into a freezer friendly flat dish and place it in the freezer.
- Set a timer to ring every 30 minutes for the next few hours. You need to do that because you need to sto stir your granita with a fork every once in a while so it doesn't freeze into a giant block of fruity ice.
** You can freeze your granita using an ice cream machine but that will result in a sorbet like consistency - which is wonderful but nothing like a granita.