I have a deadline quickly approaching, which makes today a very good day to distract myself with the autumn sunlight, a Bavarian amaro, and tales of a boozy granita.
Summer is arguably the season for granita; however, as September turns into October, I'm hoping that there will be a few more afternoons golden enough to sit in the sun and to eat your spritz with a spoon instead of drinking it with a straw.
If Campari Granita is a good idea, then Mondino Granita is an even better one. For those of you outside of Bavaria, Mondino is our own local version of Campari. I first stumbled upon it around Christmas time two years ago. I was in a store, and the saleswoman saw me admiring the well-designed label and asked me if I would like to try some with some warm orange juice and cinnamon. When I asked her what it was, she replied: "It is like Campari, but good." Made by hand in Bavaria, its ingredients include bitter oranges, rhubarb and yellow gentian (a plant indigenous to the Alps).
I left the store with three bottles, having found a great Christmas gift and my new favourite amaro.
The recipe for this granita comes from Jennifer McLagan's Bitter, which also gave us Belgian Endives Bathed in Butter. These two recipes alone make her cookbook a home-run. The original recipe calls for Campari and offers either an orange version or a grapefruit version. Since I am a firm believer that bitter is better, I went for the grapefruit. I have no regrets.
adapted from 'Bitter' by Jennifer McLagan, via Orangette
yields 4-6 servings
1 cup (250 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 cup (125 ml) Mondino
2 tbsp (25 grams) sugar
1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Stir together the juice, Mondino, sugar, and lemon juice. Pour into a metal pan (around the size of an 8-inch metal pan). Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer.
Every hour or so, remove the pan from the freezer and use a spoon to stir the mixture and break up the ice crystals. For the last stirring (the third of fourth hour depending on the temperature of your freezer), use a fork to stir to make the ice crystals finer and fluffier.
To serve, spoon the granita into chilled glasses and eat right away, when it is still very cold.