A delicious dessert to keep you cool on hot summer days.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • ½–1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 600ml water
  • 1 lemon
  • 350g fresh strawberries

Strong or sharp flavours work best with the large icy crystals of the granita.


Put the pepper, sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan over a low to medium heat and dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and simmer for four to five minutes until the syrup has reached 100°C on a sugar thermometer and has a ‘vaseline’ feel and thread.

Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Juice the lemon. Blend the strawberries until smooth in a food processor or mash them to a puree, then push them through a sieve to remove the seeds. Once the syrup is cool, strain it into the puree, add the lemon juice and stir well.

Place the mixture in a shallow container and freeze for approximately one to two hours, or until beginning to solidify at the edges. Remove from the freezer and stir with a fork to mix the ice crystals evenly.

Return it to the freezer until the puree is again beginning to solidify at the edges. Repeat this stirring process two or three times, or until the granita has an even consistency of small ice crystals; it should be grainy but not mushy. Serve immediately.

Note: If you want to store the granita overnight, remove from the freezer two hours before serving and leave to soften for 30 minutes. Stir thoroughly with a fork, then return to the freezer. After a further 30 minutes, stir once more and refreeze.

kJ 701| Fat 0.2 | Carb 41 | Protein 0.7

Images and recipes extracted from Leiths How To Cook, published by Quadrille, distributed by Hardie Grant Books. RRP $59.95.

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