Sometimes, all the stars line up for a fantastic recipe to be born. Call it serendipity, kismet or just plain old coincidence, but when three distinct events occurred that all pointed me in the direction of this granita*, I couldn’t resist. First, I saw Paleo Cupboard’s recent post for Fresh Fruit Granita. Then, the next day I was sitting in a dingy waiting room getting my car smog checked, thumbing through an old issue of Sunset magazine when I happened upon a recipe for Rhubarb Granita. And finally, I went to the market right after the smog center and bumped into a heaped up display of summer’s most misunderstood veggie: rhubarb. Okay, Universe. You win.
I decided to make rhubarb the star but cut it down by a cup and added some blueberries for color and sweetness. If you’ve been around here long enough, you know I’m not into making tons of Paleo desserts but I’m truthfully trying to use up my entire pantry right now with a three month trip to the UK/Europe approaching in just two short weeks – plus fruit with a bit of honey is hardly a Paleo-coconut-chocolate-cookie-caramel-tart-with-brownie-crumbles-on-top.
I cut the sweetener in the Sunset recipe from 1 cup sugar to ~1/3 cup of honey. The granita is decidedly sweet-tart, but you could add a bit more honey if you wanted to. The honey didn’t negatively affect the texture at all and still resulted in nice, icy fruit flakes. It’s best to prepare this on the day you want to use it but it can be softened and eaten later on. Store tightly sealed in the freezer if keeping leftovers.
- 3 cups sliced rhubarb
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2.5 cups water
- 1/2 cup honey
- Have a 13″ x 9″ glass dish ready (or two smaller 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ pans. Glass or ceramic work best because you have to scrape the granita with a fork, and it could ruin the finish of a metal pan).
- Wash the rhubarb, and cut it into thin slices until you have about 3 cups total.
- Put the rhubarb slices, blueberries, water and honey in a medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Be careful because the mixture tends to bubble up. If that happens, turn the heat down a bit.
- Pour the fruit mixture into a fine mesh strainer over the 13″ x 9″ dish. Use a spoon to mash and stir the mixture through the strainer, catching the liquid underneath. Work it until all that remains inside the strainer is a thick pulp. Discard the pulp.
- You’ll have to babysit the granita a bit from here. Place the dish in the freezer and allow to harden for about 20-30 minutes. Then, scrape the dish down with a fork. Your goal is to create small icy chunks. I checked on mine about every 30 minutes after that, scraping it down further. Eventually it’ll get firm enough to where you can scrape right across the top.
- Serve in chilled glasses. A garnish of fresh mint would be perfect here, too, or just enjoy as is. Savor it.
*When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make something similar that she called “slush”. It had booze in it so we were never allowed to have any. You could do the same if that’s up your alley.