Now that we’ve discussed my fetish for eating things at the complete wrong time of the year, I thought it was time to introduce you all to yet another of my ice-cold winter treats in the form of this delicious lychee granita! In my defense, lychees themselves are actually in the peak of their short season at the moment.. it’s just my inevitable act of freezing them which revives my crazy-upside-down-seasonal-eating habits.
Confession: I may have spent the majority of Saturday afternoon dancing around the kitchen peeling lychees whilst listening to Avici while the rest of my family was out. Confession #2: it was about 90% terrible, terrible dancing, 5% attempting to sing along (I think I should stick to opera) and 5% lychee peeling, so don’t let the seemingly fiddly task of peeling 20 lychees put you off making this incredibly easy and amazingly delicious treat. I think that’s enough confessions for now… you know, before you think I’m too crazy and all.
Okay, fine. Confession #3: I didn’t actually wait exactly 30 minutes between fork-scrapings of frozen granita mixtures. In all honesty, I did some fork-scraping at the end of each chapter of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.. you may have to make a detour to the library when you go and buy some lychees for this granita! I highly recommend the book, though, so if you want an excuse to read a piece of romantic fiction by a great English novelist, please do blame my lychee granita.
Back to the original subject of the post, this seriously simple 3-ingredient treat needs no fancy equipment save a blender or food processor, a freezer, a fork, and a big glass baking tray. Lychees are a true superfood, but what really draws me to them is their delicate yet slightly tangy flavour and their fragrant, flowery perfume. Their sweet juices seem to explode with undertones when swirled around in my mouth – a slight musk, a tang, a sweetness that rivals even the sweetest of candies – eating them whole is a treat, but just you wait until you taste the wonderfully simple combination of frozen water and lychee puree that is this granita, a lightly scraped icy treat with layers of delectable flavours which comes together in a mere few hours! Throw in a handful of mint at the blending stage and you have a sophisticated slushy.. could there be anything more perfect?
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 20 lychees, peeled and pitted
- 50ml water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Blend the lychees and water together in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Add up to two tablespoons of maple syrup to taste, then blend until incorporated – my first batch was sweet enough, but my second one needed the full two tablespoons of sweetener.
2. Pour into a large glass oven dish and freeze for an hour or until the edges just begin to crystallise.
3. With a fork, ‘rake’ the frozen parts of the granita mixture with a fork to form tiny crystals, then put the mixture back into the freezer.
4. Repeat this process every 30 minutes until all the mixture is completely crystallised, then serve immediately.