Wow. I didn't mean to be away for so long. It's been almost a week, and I'll admit, it passed by kind of fast for me. It's not that anything exciting happened, I will simply confess to my laziness. Mostly, it was the heat. I would come home from work, change immediately into pajamas and spend the rest of the evening relaxing. I'll even admit that the meals around here were reduced to, well, slim pickin's. It's not to say anyone here was deprived, but, I think when I came home today with groceries, Jason breathed a little sigh of relief.
The weather has cooled off, too, slightly, but my urge to crank up the broiler has diminished. So I thought I would take fruit to the opposite extreme: freeze the heck out of it. I've been envious of everyone I know who has been making homemade ice cream lately, and have wanted to make a frozen dessert, but one that didn't require the purchase of an entire machine that I would need to find storage space for (although, for an ice cream maker, I would find the space). Granitas make perfect sense here.
I was a little hesitant to make this at first, because I came home with two great looking cantaloupes, and when I cut them up all I wanted to do was eat the melon slices as is, because nothing beats melon at it's freshest. I admit, I ate a few slices, but I went ahead with the recipe; I mean, technically I can go back to the market and buy some more cantaloupes.
This turned out better than expected. I anticipated that the melon flavor would disappear when frozen, but it seemed to be enhanced (perhaps this is the job of the sugar syrup?). Jason and I both agree that this granita tastes exactly like the melon paletas we used to devour when we lived in Mexico, and that's a nice memory to bring back. If only I had space to hang my hammock, I would be set.
From Martha Stewart's Everyday Food
In this recipe you can also substitute one 5-pound honeydew melon for the two 3-pound cantaloupes.
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2 cantaloupes (3-pounds each), peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1) In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons water, stirring occasionally, until dissolved; about 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
2) In a food processor (I used a hand-held immersion blender), puree melon with the sugar syrup until smooth. Pour into a large, shallow dish (I used a 9 x 13" pan).
3) Freeze, stirring and breaking up crystals with a fork every 30 minutes, until entire mixture is frozen and crystallized, about 3 hours.