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Strawberry and red wine granita

Hugh has always loved a granita, the simplest of all frozen desserts. In this one, the combination of strawberries and fruity red wine makes for a richly flavoured and rather grown-up iced pud.

Method

Halve the strawberries and put them into a saucepan with the sugar and wine. Leave to stand for half an hour.

Bring the strawberry mix to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then cook gently for 10 minutes – at never more than a subtle simmer. Purée the mixture in a blender, then pass through a sieve into a bowl to remove the pips and leave to cool.

Stir the lemon juice into the cooled liquid and taste. You can add more sugar at this point if you like – the easiest thing is to whisk in some icing sugar – but don’t make it too sweet or you’ll mask the other flavours. Pour the liquid into a shallow freezer container and freeze until solid – give it at least 12 hours.

Take the granita out of the freezer about 20 minutes before serving and test the consistency. You’ll probably find that it’s soft enough to scratch with a fork straight away – the alcohol and the sugar stop it from freezing absolutely solid. In this case, put it back in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. If, however, it does seem very hard, leave it out of the freezer.

Use a fork to scratch the frozen purée into crystals – the finished granita should have a texture rather like a coarse sorbet, or fruity snow. Pile the crystals into serving glasses or bowls. Serve immediately, as it is, or topped with a generous, snowy cap of cream if you prefer.

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Ingredients

  • 500g strawberries, hulled
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 400ml light, fruity red wine such as Beaujolais, Tarrango or any Gamay
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • A little icing sugar (optional)

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Fruit Every Day!

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