I love coffee. I love vanilla lattes. When I saw this recipe on Lidia Bastianich's website, I loved the idea of coffee as dessert. So I made it ahead for El Hub and I to indulge in when he got home from work and the kiddos were tucked in tight for bed. Well, El Hub was late. So, I refroze it and saved it for the next night. El Hub was late again. So nerdy genius that I am, today I decided to serve it for a mid-afternoon treat. Well, my poor granitas weren't supposed to be thawed and refrozen so many times, so they were a bit lumpier (is that a word?!) than they are supposed to be. And for being the coffee-lover that I am, I must admit to these being a bit too strong for my preference. El Hub loved them. They have made it to my "make again" list. (Oh, and my son loved the homemade whipped cream. He informed me that he doesn't like the kind at school. Good to know!)
Coffee Granitas--"Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen" cookbook. Lidia Bastianich
4 cups brewed espresso
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
Brew espresso and while it is still hot, stir in 1/2 cup sugar and the lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved. Taste, and add more sugar if you like. Cool to room temperature.
Pour coffee mixture into 9x13 baking pan and set it on a level shelf in the freezer. When ice crystals begin to form around the edges (30 minutes to 1 hour), remove the pan from the freezer and stir the ice crystals into the liquid. Return to freezer and repeat every time ice crystals form. The more of the liquid that turns to ice, the quicker the remaining liquid will freeze after the pan is returned to the freezer. The granita is now ready to serve and should be served within a few hours.
Whip the heavy cream until it holds soft peaks. Run a fork through the granita to break up any large crystals and spoon the granita into tall glasses. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.
(Blender Version Granita)
Pour the coffee mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Grind the ice cubes in an ice crusher or blender. This method will give you more of a coffee slush than a true granita.