If you don’t have the means to make espresso at home, use American-style coffee. (This is also a very good way to use leftover brewed American coffee.) To make up for the lack of coffee punch that you’ll find in an espresso granita, sample your coffee and stir in instant coffee to taste.
Keep in mind that the technique used to make coffee granita can be applied to juices, teas, herbs or any flavored liquid of your choice. Liquids that contain alcohol don’t work well for granita, since alcohol does not freeze at the temperatures that household freezers reach.
- 4 cups brewed espresso
- ½ cup sugar, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
Brew the espresso and, while it is still hot, stir in ½ cup sugar and the lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and add additional sugar if you like. Cool to room temperature.
Pour the coffee mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and set in the freezer. When crystals begin to form around the edges – from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your freezer – remove the pan from the freezer and stir the crystals into the liquid. Return the pan to the freezer and repeat every time crystals form. The more of the liquid that turns to ice, the quicker the remaining liquid will freeze after the pan is returned to the freezer. Continue until all the liquid has turned to crystals. The granite is now ready to serve and should be served within a few hours.
Whip the heavy cream until it holds soft peaks. Run a fork through the granite to break up any large crystals, and spoon the granite into tall glasses. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve, immediately.
VARIATION: Blender Granita
Pour the coffee mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Grind the cubes in an ice crusher or blender. This method will give you more of a coffee slush than a true granita.