Fresh Strawberry granita with homemade vanilla custard is a refreshing and super easy dessert, perfect for spring/summer get togethers or lazy hot evenings. It’s light and delicious when served with just strawberries and other seasonal fruit chunks but can be made more indulgent with home made vanilla custard, ice cream or Greek yogurt.
This simple and yummy dessert reminds me of my own childhood days, the ‘gola ganda’ days. In the smouldering heat of Lahore my mom used to make gola ganda for me, a ball of crushed ice on a stick, topped with sweet rose syrup. That refreshed my summer evenings like nothing else would. The same way my kids love this soothing dessert now. Kids enjoy a lot the ice crushing part with a fork, so you can leave that to them too while you are busy with other chores.
The beauty of granita is that it has very fine crushed ice crystals but they maintain a little texture. Don’t use food processor because that would turn the frozen strawberry mixture into very fine powder which is not what we require here.
My personal favourite way to serve it is over some chilled vanilla custard. And there is nothing better than the silky smooth home made vanilla custard.
For Fresh Strawberry Granita :
2+1/2 cups hot water
1 tea bag Earl Grey or Green Tea
5 tablespoons sugar
3 cups strawberries
Juice of one orange
This Is What You Do :
Make tea with hot water and tea bag in a big bowl.
Dissolve the sugar in the hot tea and set aside till comes down to room temperature.
Purée 2 cups of strawberries with orange juice in a blender.
Stir the puréed strawberries into cool tea. Mix.
Pour the mixture into a freezable, airtight container with a lid.
Leave in the freezer for two hours. After two hours break the ice crystals forming on the top layer with a fork and mix with the remaining mixture. Freeze again.
Repeat this process every one hour till all the liquid turns into strawberry crushed ice.
Keep in the airtight container in the freezer till you need to serve.
If you are freezing the mixture overnight, take it out 30 minutes before you need it. Allow it to soften and then break with a fork into ice crystals.
For Home Made Vanilla Custard :
2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter
Few drops vanilla essence
This Is What You Do :
Mix milk, sugar, corn flour and salt in saucepan, bring them to boil. Reduce heat and keep stirring till the mixture begins to thicken.
Beat egg yolks in a bowl, add some hot milk mix to the yolks to temper them.
Now add the yolk-milk mix back to the saucepan. Continue to stir for another minute. Take off heat, stir in butter and vanilla.
Refrigerate till chilled.
To Assemble :
Layer the granita with chopped chunks of strawberries and vanilla custard in tall glasses.
*You can also serve the granita as is, with fresh fruit chunks, Greek yogurt and honey, chocolate syrup or ice cream.
*Do not add egg yolks directly to the hot custard or they will change into scrambled eggs.
Makes 4 servings