After the previous heavy short rib course, I served a refreshing concord grape granita, which is basically homemade shaved ice. I also made this a day in advance, and all I had to do to serve was scoop the ice into serving cups.

It’s important to get concord grapes for this recipe, since the grapes have a distinct flavour, and the skin lends a nice bright purple color to the ice.

The grapes are washed and pureed in a blender, and the remnants set over a mesh sieve to remove seeds and left over grape skin.

The grape juice is then mixed with simple syrup to taste. Remember that the grape juice is already pretty sweet, so be aware of how sweet you want the granita to be.

The grape juice/simple syrup mixture is placed in the freezer for a few hours until a thin layer of ice forms on the top of the liquid. The recipe says to check it every 30 minutes, but I think it depends on how strong your freezer is and mine took longer than 30 minutes to set.

Using a fork, the top layer of the ice is scrapped and fluffed up. It doesn’t take that much effort at this point since the juice is only half frozen.

The mixture is placed back in the freezer for the bottom parts of the juice to freeze, and the same scraping process is repeated until the entire mixture is scraped up and frozen.

The bowl is covered and placed in the freezer until ready to serve. I would’ve like to have topped the granita with a leaf or two of mint, but unfortunately I didn’t have any at the time. This was an incredibly easy recipe to make, and it was a great break for our dinner so far.

Concord Grape Granita: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/concord-grape-granita

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