I recently picked up 8 quarts of hail-damaged peaches that needed to be dealt with in a hurry. I decided it was time to squeeze one last frozen treat into our summer and make some granita. The Nectarine Granita recipe in David Lebowitz’s The Perfect Scoop served as my guide.
While it does need to freeze overnight, this is a relatively low maintenance and healthy frozen treat that does not require an ice cream maker. The only real pain was making room in my freezer. And the kids love it.
6 large ripe peaches (2 pounds)
1 cup water
1/4 – 1/3 cup honey (depending on preference and sweetness of fruit)
Tiny pinch salt
Wash, peel, and pit the peaches. I have a vegetable peeler that has little teeth on it that does the trick.* Place the pitted peaches and water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Remove from heat and stir in the honey and salt.
Allow the peach mixture to cool. Transfer the mixture to a blender to puree or use a hand/immersion blender. When the mixture is smooth, pour it into a 8 x12-inch (or thereabouts) baking pan. Cover with with plastic wrap and place on a level surface in your freezer.
In a couple hours, peel back the plastic wrap and check on the peach mixture by giving it a stir from the outside in. Check it one or two more times through the course of the day moving the frozen edges into the center while stirring.
Eventually, the mixture will freeze solid. It always seems to need to sit overnight for me. But maybe your freezer will work faster than mine. When it is solid and you are ready to serve, simply scrape it with a fork until you have enough fluffy frozen goodness to fill your bowl. Return the remainder to the freezer covered with plastic wrap.
Yield: maybe 6 cups
Prep-time: 20 minutes
*Note: If your peeler doesn’t cooperate, I’ve heard you can dunk peaches in boiling water for a minute, run them under cold water, and then the peel will come off easily.