During a holiday in Pantelleria, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean (between Sicily and Malta), I consumed a mulberry granite every day. Made by a local cook, this helped considerably to cool me down in the intense summer heat. Ripe, scented blackberries can be used in the same way, as indeed can strawberries, raspberries or other soft fruit.
Makes about 3kg (6 1/2 lb)
- 1.5kg (3 lb 5 oz) very ripe blackberries, cleaned
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1.5kg (3 lb 5 oz) caster sugar
- 4-6 fresh mint leaves
- Put the berries in a stainless steel pot over a medium heat and let them burst and release their juices, stirring from time to time. Add the lemon juice and zest, followed by the sugar, and cook for 15 minutes, still stirring. When the sugar has melted, leave the mixture to cool. The berries will have almost dissolved, so there should be no need to strain, but if you are sensitive to texture, you can do so.
- To make the granite, take 2-3 tbsp mixture per person and dilute with half its volume of water. Mix well and then place in a suitable container in the freezer. When the mixture starts to set, remove from the freezer and stir well to break up the ice crystals. Return to the freezer. Repeat this process a couple of times, or until the crystals have been completely dispersed and the granite is evenly grainy. Spoon into glasses, decorate with a mint leaf on top, and serve immediately.