Blackberries, arhhh such an easy catapult back to childhood, those fat juicy blackberries being such easy low-level pickings for any age at any time, their succulent sweetness worth any scratches, post sticky finger syndrome or lingering tell tale stains on white t-shirts.
This year the brambles are laden just under the Corno Grande in Abruzzo, it’s a bit of a surprise when it’s been so dry, too dry for even my neighbours’ tomato crop, barely a caldron’s worth of sugo was made this year… maybe we should predict rocket 2012 prices for the jars of the stuff in the shops!
To offset such a gloom here’s a juicy blackberry recipe for adults and those that enjoy Montepulciano d’Abruzzo fresca… whether you are feeling the heat financially in an austere Italy and world or a double whammy of that and temperatures in their late 30Cs that make you want to do anything but cook, this granita is just the perfect antidote! It’s a variation on Vanessa Pruett’s Merlot one but with such a fruity wine as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo I’ve substituted divine Millefiori local Abruzzo honey in place of sugar and added some orange zest.
Blackberry & Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Granita Recipe
600 g Freshly Picked Blackberries
180 ml Water
120 g Honey
120 ml Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Juice from 1/2 Freshly Squeezed Lemon
Zest from ½ orange
1/2 Cinnamon Stick
- Wash thoroughly blackberries in cold water for 10 minutes
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand and seep for 15 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl ensuring that no pips enter your mixture and stir in the liquid that the blackberry mixture was steeped in. If you’d like your granita really fruity rub through the sieve more of the blackberries themselves (I used half in mine).
- Pour the mixture into a square glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover and freeze until partially frozen (about 2 hours). Scrape the mixture with a fork, crushing any lumps. Freeze for 3 hours or until completely frozen, scraping with a fork every hour. Remove from freezer; scrape mixture with a fork until fluffy.
Footnote – If you don’t manage to eat all of this do be aware that the notes from the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo fade the longer this remains in the freezer!