This delicious granita, a popular treat in Sicily, is a memorable ending to a spring alfresco meal. By making your own almond milk you steer clear of thickeners and preservatives found in most commercial brands.
1 cup (250 mL) natural almonds
3 Tbsp (45 mL) natural cane sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2 mL) almond extract (optional)
1/4 cup (60 mL) honey
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped rosemary
4 oranges, pith removed and segmented
Place almonds in bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak at room temperature for at least 1 hour or in refrigerator overnight.
In saucepan, heat 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water and sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drain almonds and add to blender along with sugar water, vanilla extract, and almond extract, if using. Blend until almonds are completely ground, about 2 minutes. Pour into fine mesh strainer lined with a couple of layers of cheesecloth and set over deep bowl. Allow almond milk to drain in refrigerator for about 2 hours. Gently squeeze out any extra almond milk before discarding cheesecloth and almond solids.
Pour almond mixture into 8 x 8 x 2 in (2 L) square cake pan and place in freezer for 1 hour. Stir with fork, breaking up any icy lumps, and return to freezer. For a granita with a creamier consistency, freeze in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, place honey and rosemary in small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until warm. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
To serve, scrape granita vigorously with fork to form icy flakes. Divide oranges among 6 serving bowls and drizzle with rosemary honey. Top with scoop of granita just before serving.
Each serving contains: 260 calories; 6 g protein; 12 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 37 g total carbohydrates (28 g sugars, 6 g fibre); 6 mg sodium
source: “Italian Food the Italian Way“, alive #366, April 2013