My first experience with granitas was at a dinner party at my friend Erin's house a few months ago (she is the same friend I credit for all of the italian recipes that I post on this site- her recipes are trustworthy). We paired these granitas with champagne and it was perfection. However, these aren't only good when drinking bubbly... in fact, now that the weather is heating up, these would be a perfect summer afternoon/dessert/anytime treat. Traditional recipes suggest that you "flake" the granita into a cup, almost like a snow-cone/italian ice kind of thing... however, since this recipe uses mascarpone (and I added vodka so that it wasn't hard as a brick), it turns out to be something between an icey sorbet and ice cream. BUT, the best part is that you don't need an ice cream maker to get to the fantastic end result. YUM! The original recipe is from Giada de Laurentiis, but I've adapted it slightly...
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 cup raspberries, chopped
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
6 ounces mascarpone cheese
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup vodka
pinch of salt
Put the strawberries and raspberries in the food processor with 1 tablespoon of sugar and blend until smooth.
In a pan over medium heat bring the water, 1/2 cup sugar, and mint to a boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Strain the mint leaves out of the simple syrup and add it to the food processor. Blend to incorporate. Add the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, vodka, salt and blend.
Pour into a tupperware container and place in the freezer. Let freeze until hardened (I would let it do this overnight). Scrape/flake or scoop out with an ice cream scoop. Serve in a glass. Can be garnished with more chopped fruit and mint leaves.