What the heck is a granita?
You're probably thinking it. Heck, I thought it when I first saw the name of a dish like this a few years ago. But then I made one and fell in love.
Right about now is a good time to just tell you ... right?)
A granita is a frozen dessert that is along the lines of a slushy. Basically, you make a fruity liquid (in this case, apple) and stick it in the freezer. Then you regularly pull it out, scratch it up with a fork, and freeze it again. Keep that up until it's all frozen and slush and then scoop it out to serve. Easy peasy.
So, this Apple Granita starts with a base of apple cider, apples and sugar. You cook it (not all granitas need to be cooked, but apples have a better texture for this when they are softened in the cooking process) until the apples are tender.
Then you puree it. Basically, it will be like a really juicy apple sauce.
Then, the freezing process starts. Plan to make this on an afternoon when you will be home. It will take several hours to freeze, and you need to scrape the mixture every 30-45 minutes so that it gets all slushy and frozen.
In the end, you have a fresh, refreshing, delicious dessert that kids and adults can totally enjoy together. And it's pretty.
Oh, and if you happen to forget that you are making the granita and go out for a few hours, don't panic. The apple mixture can be scraped pretty easily from a solid state. Trust me, I found out the hard way.
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah's Cucina Bella.