Nectarine Granita

Summer fruits let us eat like royalty: just look at this simple, but elegant nectarine granita.

by Dani Yokhna

Nectarine GranitaA granita is a simple, flavored ice that doesn’t require much sweetening or special equipment. Experiment with other fresh summer fruits, such as strawberries, peaches, cherries or apricots. You can also replace the lemon juice with a liqueur such as Grand Marnier or cherry brandy.

2 lbs. ripe, juicy nectarines (about 8 to 10)
1 T. honey
3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp. vanilla

Place nectarines in a large metal or glass bowl. Boil 3 to 4 quarts of water and pour over fruit. Let stand for about 5 minutes, then remove skins (they should slip off easily; if not, let fruit sit in the hot water for an additional 1 to 2 minutes). Halve nectarines and remove pits and stems. Cut halves into large chunks. Working in about three batches, puree nectarines, honey, lemon juice and vanilla in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Transfer to a large, shallow glass or plastic pan, such as a 13- by 9-inch cake pan, and stir gently to distribute ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer. Stir every 30 minutes for two hours to break up ice crystals. Be sure to run spoon along sides of container to break up frozen edges. Then, freeze until firm. To serve, rake a fork across the surface and place shavings in a chilled dessert dish, wine goblet or martini or margarita glass.

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