Granita is a traditional semi-frozen Italian dessert from the ravishing Island of Sicily. The Sicilian granita is usually prepared with water, sugar, fruit juice ( lemon, orange, mandarin ) or other ingredients such as almonds, pistachios, coffee, cocoa, coconut or jasmine. It is traditionally served in a transparent glass and accompanied by the typical brioche col tuppo, an oval-shaped bread topped with a hemispherical ball (tuppo). During the Arab rule in Sicily, the Arabs introduced on the Island the ancestor of the granita : the sherbet, an iced drink flavored with fruit juice or rose water. Afterwards the Sicilians developed the sherbet recipe collecting the snow on Mount Etna, Mountains Peloritani, Iblei and Nebrodi on the nivieri, (stone buildings erected over natural or artificial caves) and using the collected ice covered with fruit syrups or flowers as a refreshing treat during the Summer. Since 2012, in the beautiful city of Acireale (Sicily), takes place the Nivarata a festival dedicated to “the rite of Granita Siciliana”. This festival has been named after theNivaroli, the people that in the past were in charge of collecting the snow.
Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen
1 cup caster sugar
1 1.4 cups spring water
2 cups coconut milk
2 teaspoons rose water
chopped pistachios, for garnish
In a medium sauce pan, put the water and the sugar and cook at low heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool completely.
Transfer the cooled water and sugar mixture into a pitcher or a quart measuring cup then add the coconut milk and the rose water. Stir well.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn for about 20 minutes.
Serve right away in transparent glasses, sprinkled with chopped pistachios on top.