Friday, April 27, 2007

Ice, Lemon Ice

The ice and snow of winter seem to be long gone. Tulips are blooming, trees are budding, and as the grass flourishes, I think I will probably have to face the mower for the first time this weekend. While I know that we can still be hit by another cold snap, I am sure that no bad weather will hang around for long. Instead of fussing over icy roads and snowed over satellite dishes, I can turn my mind to the warming temperatures of spring.

With the warm days comes a desire for cool treats. A recent jaunt to The Big City allowed me to satisfy a craving for ice that doesn't leave me shivering and running for cover, Lemon Ice. I discovered the Lemon Ice treats at Culver's a few years ago. Instantly, I was in love. Add the blueberry sauce, and I would trade you my car for a sample. During the spring and summer, I always make time to at least hit the drive-thru of this fast food establishment whenever I am near. Thankfully, I am at least 120 miles from the closest Culver's. I can't abuse my diet by indulging too often in this sugary treasure...or can I?

Lemon Ice is easy to make at home. While it might not hold the thrill of sneaking a sweet treat in the middle of the long drive to the eastern side of the state, it is still satisfying and refreshing. It's sweet, yet tart flavors would be an excellent ending for a great spring or summer meal. Make some blueberry sauce to drizzle over it, and don't forget to invite me. :~) Ice, Lemon Ice, is for me to enjoy On My Plate anytime.

Lemon Ice (Granita)

3 cups water
1cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of about 6 lemons)
1 ½ teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon extract

Combine 2 cups of the water with the sugar in a medium nonreactive saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Add the salt, stir, and remove the pan from the heat.
Stir in the remaining water and let cool to room temperature.
Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
Meanwhile, place a shallow metal 2 1/2 qt container (such as a large cake pan) in the freezer to chill.
Add the lemon juice, lemon peel, and extract to the chilled sugar mixture; stir until well blended. Pour into the chilled metal pan.
Place the pan in the freezer for 30-60 minutes, or until ice crystals form around the edges.
Stir the ice crystals into the center of the pan and return to the freezer.
Repeat every 30 minutes, or until all the liquid is crystallized but not frozen solid, about 3 hours. To serve, scoop the granita into chilled dessert bowls or goblets.
(If the granita has become too hard, scrape it with a large metal spoon to break up the ice crystals.) Serve at once.
Advance Preparation: The granita can be stored, covered, for up to four days in the freezer, but it will have become frozen solid.
To serve, either allow the granita to thaw in the refrigerator until you can scrape the crystals, or break it up into chunks and process with on/off motions in a food processor fitted with the knife blade until fairly smooth. (Serves 4-6)

1 comment:

  1. I. Covet. Culver's. Lemon. Ice. With. Blueberries. I'll get to one someday! :)


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