You can tell you're getting older when, as the the birthday girl, you want to make the food for your own party. My sister, Sara, turns 25 today and we're celebrating her birthday as she wished, with a long lunch on Saturday with close friends and family.
She's insisting on making this Lemon Mint Granita recipe (despite the fact that I think she shouldn't do anything but sit and enjoy her day), which I must say, looks divine. The recipe is below but I'll be sure to provide feedback after we've had a taste or two, or three or.... :) You get the picture.
Lemon Mint Granita (via Smitten Kitchen)
4 cups water
Sugar, to taste (we used 3 tablespoons, like a tart lemonade)
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Clean and wash the lemons. Cut off the top quarter of the lemons and slice a thin bevel off the bottom, so they can stand up straight. (You can skip this step if you don’t want to serve them in frozen lemon cups.) Using a grapefruit knife, carefully remove all of the lemon flesh and juice (working over a bowl ensures you won’t lose any), being careful not to cut through the bottom. Stand the lemons on a plate or cookie sheet and freeze until solid.
Using a food processor (a blender will work as well), toss a handful of washed and dried fresh mint leaves into the work bowl. (I used about 25 to 30 leaves from 6 to 9 sprigs.) Add the scooped out lemon flesh and juice, and pulse until mostly pureed. Let mixture stand for 15 minutes, so the mint releases its flavor, then press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. You’ll end up with approximately one cup of lemon-mint juice.
Stir in the water, then sugar, one tablespoon at a time until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is to your desire level of sweetness. Pour the mixture into a large roasting pan or baking dish, large enough that the liquid isn’t more than one-inch deep. (Otherwise it takes forever to freeze, trust me. A 9×13-inch pan worked great here.)
Freeze for one hour, then remove the mixture and scrape with two forks to break up the ice. (Your freezing time will vary, depending on the temperature and muscle of your freezer.) Return to the freezer and freeze until solid, about 2 to 3 hours, scraping it again with forks every hour or so.When the granita is frozen, rake until glittery. Scoop into frozen lemon shells (or, you know, plain old dishes).