Peach Cherry Granita

Posted by on Aug 30, 2017 in Desserts, Seasonal, Snacks, Summer | 2 comments

… Delicious Shaved Ice for the Win!

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Peach Cherry Granita by Daily Forage

On hot summer days all we can think about is trying to stay cool, right? This naturally gluten-free, dairy-free granita recipe made with fresh fruit, a hint of honey (which can certainly be omitted if you choose), and a merely subliminal essence of basil will have you refreshed with the first sampling.

The process is easy – the waiting is definitely the most difficult part.

Fresh Peaches by dailyforage.com

I chose to combine white flesh and yellow flesh peaches. You can go with all one type if you prefer. The key is that you’re choosing ripe pieces of fruit. They’ll provide the most flavor and will yield more juice. They’ll also make the peeling process easier. My peaches were just the right ripeness so I was able to accomplish the peeling process with ease simply by using a sharp knife to start a section of the skin to peel back, then it pulled off with my fingers. If you have peaches that are a bit more resistant to peeling, you can use the blanching method to release the skins without cooking the peach flesh.

To blanch peaches, score the bottom of each peach with an X. Add the peaches to a pot of boiling water, however many will fit into the pot at one time. Let sit in boiling water for 1-3 minutes. Immediately transfer the peaches to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Use a knife to peel back a corner of the scored X. The skin should pull away from the flesh easily. No need to peel the cherries. Just be sure to remove all the pitts (the juicer really complains if a pitt makes its way into the machine).

Fresh Cherries by dailyforage.com

Make your juice, if using fresh fruit. Strain

Pour the peach juice into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the cherry juice over the peach juice.

Swirled Peach Cherry Granita Juice by dailyforage.com

Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. Remove from freezer. The juice will only be frozen around the edges. Using a fork, scrape the frozen sections into the unfrozen areas. Cover and return to the freezer for another 2 hours. Repeat until all the juice has frozen and been scraped into a fluffy, shaved ice texture.

Swirled Peach Cherry Frozen Granita by dailyforage.com

If necessary, the juice can be frozen overnight or for about 8 hours without scraping. It will still scrape and fluff just fine, it just is a more tedious process. Either way works with perfect results.

Peach Cherry Shaved Ice Granita by Daily Forage

This recipe will make about 12 servings of naturally sweet, delightfully summer fresh, shaved ice. Once fully frozen and scraped, the granita lasts in the freezer for up to a month. Should it clump or create pockets of solid areas, simply use a fork to scrape and fluff before serving. The flavor will be just as pronounced and delicious as at the initial serving. These qualities make this the perfect dessert for a party, since the make-ahead time required is so versatile.

Should you get a hankering for a fresh summer fruit treat in mid-winter and peach and cherry “off season”, you can certainly use frozen, then refrigerator-defrosted, fruit. You can also use bottled juice with no sugar or other added ingredients, but I prefer to rely on fresh whenever possible.

This is such a light and refreshing dessert that I love to pair a light cookie with it to embellish the offering to the next level. A perfect pairing choice is Basil Lemon Shortbread Cookies. They pair well while still keeping with the not-too-heavy dessert theme so appreciated in the hot summer months. This has been a successful combination many times with my friends, family, and even restaurant guests (who never detected that this dessert does not contain any gluten, dairy, or soy). That’s a major win! No need to make two different dessert choices just to ensure everyone can be served. Yes!

Peach Cherry Granita by Daily Forage

Granita? Shaved Ice? Either way … Enjoy!

Peach Cherry Granita

Servings: about 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
No
Gluten
No
Dairy
No
Egg
No
Meat
No
Soy
No
Corn
No
Peanut
Vegan

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (1.330 Kg) fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, chunked – I used 1/2 white & 1/2 yellow peaches
  • 1 cup (190 g) cherries, pitted – I used Bing cherries
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 6 medium basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • OR YOU CAN USE:
  • 4 cups fresh peach juice, strained through a sieve - (no sugar or other ingredients added)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cherry juice (no sugar or other ingredients added)

Directions

  • Directions if starting with fresh fruit: Juice peaches into a 4 or 8-cup measuring cup. Juice cherries into a 1-cup measuring cup. Discard all pulp (or reserve it for a smoothie); keep only juice to equal the juice quantities needed (reserve any remaining juice for a smoothie or another use).
  • Once you have your juices: To your clear, sieved peach juice, add 3 Tablespoons honey and whisk to blend. Gently bruise basil leaves between your fingers and add them to the sieve. Rest the sieve in the peach juice so the basil essence can infuse into the juice without letting any leaves infiltrate the juice. Allow basil to infuse for 5 minutes. Discard leaves and stir juice.
  • To the cherry juice, add 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Stir well.
  • Pour peach juice into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the cherry juice randomly through the peach juice. Cover and freeze for 2-3 hours. Remove dish from freezer and scrape/shave the frozen parts with a fork to mix into the still liquid areas. Freeze and repeat scraping/shaving every couple of hours until the mixture is fully scraped. Keep frozen until ready to serve. Fluff the granita by scraping with a fork just before serving.
  • Granita will stay good in the freezer for a few weeks. Simply scrape to fluff and break up any chunks that may have formed. The granita doesn’t lose its flavor.
  • Should you get a hankering for a fresh summer fruit treat in mid-winter and peach and cherry "off season", you can certainly use frozen, then refrigerator defrosted, fruit. You can also use bottled juice with no sugar or other added ingredients, but I prefer to rely on fresh whenever possible.
  • I also like to serve Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies with granita. They pair well while still keeping with the not-too-heavy dessert theme so appreciated in the hot summer months.

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Other recipes you might enjoy:

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Rustic Apple Peach Pie by DailyForage.com

Rustic Apple Peach Pie

No-Bake Gluten & Dairy Free Lemon Coconut Balls by DailyForage.com

No-Bake Lemon Coconut Balls

Gluten-free Dairy-free Tropical Whipped Cream Salad

GF DF Tropical Whipped Cream Salad

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Amazing! It looks simple and delicious.Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your comments. I’m always happy to share. I hope you give it a try! Connie 🙂

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