The Fancy Creamsicle
Ah, how I love creamsicles. That smooth orange/creamy taste slips onto the tongue like a soft fluffy cloud. Memories of playing kickball in the alley with the neighborhood kids during the warm summer evenings. Thoses were the days!
So this recipe comes just in time for a perfectly sunny day today. Did a little shopping and some planting and enjoyed the rest of the sunshine with the granita. I served them in martini glasses for Brian and I and we spent the better part of an hour lounging in the backyard enjoying these "sophisticated" childhood treats.
Tangerine juice: $2.99
Whipping cream: $1.99
Vanilla bean: had
I just happened to have vanilla beans in my pantry. You can find them now in most upscale grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's (even Williams Sonoma carries them). The downside to vanilla beans are the price (they're costly). I did see that Williams Sonoma now carries the Nielsen-ssey Vanilla paste. I used to use the paste at work all the time. It gives you the flavor of beans (with the little specks of seeds) at a much cheaper cost. I picked up some of that as well for future recipes.
Tangerine juice was hard to find. I didn't want to buy fresh tangerines and spend the time squeezing them. I did find a bottled tangerine/orange mix. So, I just used that. However, I cut the sugar down to 1/3 cup instead of the 2/3 called for in the recipe. It worked great.
FAST: Really, it's not. The minimum the granita has to sit in your freezer is 3 hours. I let mine go overnight. The cream says 2 hours or overnight. (I did mine overnight).
EASY: The granita is simple. Just mix the juice and sugar together in a pan until it dissolves and freeze. The hardest part was remembering to come back in 2 hours and stir the mixture. Once frozen, you just use a spoon (or fork) and scrape the granita over the surface. The vanilla cream is super simple as well. The hardest part of that is to make sure you half the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the middle with a knife into the cream. You want all that vanilla bean goodness to flavor the cream.
FRESH: The citrus in the granita actually makes this one of the fresher desserts we've had in a while. (I'm sure if you used fresh squeezed juice, it would be much better). This would be really refreshing on a hot day.
OVERALL: I like the simplicity of this dessert. I forgot, however, to cover the granita with plastic wrap overnight and it has a slight hint of freezer (freon) taste. I think it looks really nice served in martini glasses. Just garnish maybe with a slice of tangerine or even candied orange zest and you've got yourself one classy looking dessert.
Well, I'm all for a break tomorrow. See ya Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.