Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Strawberry Basil Lemonade & Granita!

Nothing says summer like cold fresh squeezed lemonade!

But add a couple of treats from your garden and you have something really special!

A few months back, Jon was browsing the interwebs and sent me a link to a recipe. He thought it sounded really gross and was being a smart ass. But as soon as I saw read it, I thought it sounded amazing and knew that I would be making it soon!

That recipe was Strawberry Basil Lemonade at What's Gaby Cooking.

I decided to make it for a little impromtu birthday party I threw for myself and Bob. Even though it was the beginning of April, it was extremely hot and lemonade sounded delicious.

There is usually no shortage of cocktails at a party at Casa de Spryte. So, I decided to make the kid-friendly version of this, since we've been having extra younglings in attendance lately. But I kept the options open for adding rum or vodka per glass if anyone wanted a little kick!

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Strawberry Basil Lemonade by What's Gaby Cooking
10 lemons, juiced, approx 1 cup of lemon juice
3/4 cup super fine sugar
4 cups water
8-10 strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup vodka or rum (optional)

Directions:

Juice the lemons and transfer the juice into a large pitcher. Add the sugar and the water and stir to combine and dissolve the sugar. Add the strawberries and basil. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture for about 20 seconds just until the mixture turns pink and the basil is finely chopped. Add alcohol if desired.

Pretty easy right?!

When I made this back in April, I was still totally not in blogging mode in the kitchen. Although, after I made this, I wished I had been!

Everyone loved it! It was tried plain, with vodka and with rum. Erin even suggested it would be great made into popsicles. I knew I'd be making it again and probably freezing some!

So, while planning a small Memorial Day cookout and trying to think of kid friendly drinks, I remembered Gaby's Strawberry Basil Lemonade. Then I thought maybe I'd make popsicles!

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Stir together the lemon juice, sugar and water. Be sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
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Add strawberries & basil and blend with the immersion blender.
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Serve over ice and enjoy!
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This is so refreshing. A little sweet, a little tangy, a little herby. YUM! It just tastes like summer. If you're someone who doesn't enjoy pulp, you you might not like this. It's a little on the thick side. If you don't mind pulp, which I don't, this is great!

But on to popsicles... I don't think I have popsicle molds anymore, at least I couldn't find them. So I was thinking I'd use the little plastic cups I have to make Jello Shots as molds and add popsicle sticks from the craft store. I couldn't find the sticks (I have since found them in Tawny's room!) So I was thinking, maybe I could use plastic spoons as sticks. Then I decided I was trying way too hard to improvise these popsicles and tried to think of how else to make them into a frozen treat.

Granita!

I'm not really sure if this actually 'is' granita. But I think it is! If not, let me know the difference!

Anyway.

I just poured the Strawberry Basil Lemonade into a 13x9 baking dish.
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Then put it into the freezer.
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I had to use my chest freezer, since my other one was too full.

It was nestled in the habaneros & blueberries & frozen chicken nuggets. (I'm sorry Jamie Oliver!!)
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For granita, at this point, as soon as ice crystals start to form, (about 20 or 30 minutes) you're supposed to scrape them up with forks and repeat until it's all ice crystals anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.

It was Memorial Day... and I totally forgot I put it into the freezer. So it was frozen solid by the time I remembered it.

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I tried scraping with forks, but the tines weren't really strong enough. Then I tried the edge of the spoon and that worked a little better. Then I decided to give my ice cream scoop a try. It has kind of a serrated edge.

That worked the best.
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The scrapings were really soft and almost fluffy.

Spoon them into a dessert bowl and enjoy!!
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So refreshing!!
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This is for you Gaby!
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Thanks for the great recipe!!

3 comments:

The Dutch Baker's Daughter said...

This looks really refreshing, Spryte. Do you suppose a little Citron would taste good in it? :)

Patti T. said...

Sounds great, I especially like the gremolata idea, haven't done one in ages.

DDpie said...

I'm talking about this over on fb LOL I can almost smell and taste summer now! Definitely on my list