It's hot! really really hot! this week the temperature has been in the high 40's. Summer is most definately here. Friends who aren't in Doha often ask me what 50 degrees feels like - I say turn the oven on to 50 degrees, let it heat up and open the door. That's what it feels like when you head out of the door in Doha. The thing is, you get used to it and learn to spend more time indoors or at the pool. It's also a great excuse to make some cooling summer concoctions. So this week I made a tasty, vitamin and anti-oxidant rich granita with two of my favourite fruits; watermelon and pomegranate.
Granita is similar to sorbet, it's chunkier and has lots of lovely crunchy ice crystals to munch on (with sorbet you blend the frozen mixture halfway through freezing). This recipe uses Pomegranate juice which is readily available, but I prefer to make my own especially when I only need a small amount. To make 3 tablespoons of juice, pop 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds into a mesh sieve, over a bowl (to collect the juice) and smash with the back of the spoon, stirring the mushy mixture to release the juice.
The recipe is very kid friendly, but I have in the past made it for a dinner party with a splash of tequila and cointreau in it.
I have some friends who follow a mostly raw diet so if they see this , I suggest they replace the water and sugar in the recipe with 1/3 cup agave nectar, which then means it won't need heating (let me know how it turns out).
Watermelon and Pomegranate Granita
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- 3 tablespoons water
- 5 cups of watermelon, de-seeded and chopped into rough chunks
- juice of a lime
- Bring the sugar, pomegranate juice and water to boil stirring to dissolve the sugar, set aside to cool down.
- Process the watermelon and lime juice in a blender until smooth (you'll need to do this in two batches).
- Return all of the watermelon mixture to the blender, add the pomegranate/sugar mixture and blend well. Pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps, and pour into a 20cm by 30cm oblong glass or ceramic dish.
- Put into the freezer and every 30 minutes, stir and scrap the mixture with a fork. After about 3 hours you will have a crumbly, crunchy granita. This will be ok covered in the freezer for 2 to 3 days. Serve garnished with some extra pomegranate seeds.