Grapefruit-mint granita

It's been muggy and hot here in PA lately.  For me, that's never a good combination.  In fact, it's a combination that inspires little apart from long naps, TV watching, and extra deodorant application.  Between the weather and my IBS, I haven't cooked too much lately.  Tonight I made my goat cheese pasta since it requires minimal stove heat.

I've been looking for ways to use up the mint leaves that are quickly outgrowing their planter out back.  After some research, I cobbled together the recipe that follows:

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 large grapefruits

Steps:

  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until it boils.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes to thicken.
  3. Meanwhile, stick a glass pan into the freezer to chill.  (I used a loaf pan.)
  4. Grate about a teaspoon of grapefruit zest from one grapefruit.  Cut the grapefruits in half and use a reamer to extract as much juice as possible.  Strain the juice into a liquid measuring cup and add a little water, if necessary, to equal 2 cups of juice.
  5. Add the zest to the juice.  Strain the sugar mixture into the juice and stir well.  Remove the glass pan from the freezer and pour the mixture into it.
  6. Put the pan back in the freezer.  Use a fork to stir up the grapefruit mixture every half hour.  When it's ready, it will be flaky and crumbly.

This is a good recipe for a lazy weekend day because you don't have to put a lot of effort into it, but you do need to be present to stir it up every 30 minutes.  Actually, it's a good way to give yourself a break every so often if you're cleaning out a closet, catching up on emails, or doing laundry!  When you stir the mixture, make sure you get the iciest (is that a word?) bits from the sides pushed into the middle and the juicy parts pushed towards the outside.  The end results are similar to a sno-cone, only airier and not drowning in syrup or red dye!  Once it reaches that flaky consistency, you can scoop it into a container with a lid to keep in the freezer.  I think it took about an hour and a half total for me today.  It's a refreshing after-dinner treat!