Ice breaker: Bill Granger gets fruity with cool adult desserts
Do your dinner guests always refuse dessert? These refreshingly cool fruity numbers should be just the thing to break down their resistance, says our chef
Sunday 11 August 2013
I often struggle to decide what to make for dessert when people come over. If I'm truthful, it's because I'm sick of making desserts no one wants to eat. Maybe I hang around a particularly boring bunch, but by the time dessert comes to the table, people seem to be either too full, watching their weight or avoiding carbs, sugar, or both.
It's hard to argue; I also often feel more than satisfied without a dessert at this time of year. Having said that, it's nice to finish a meal with something refreshing and light, and this is where these ices come in. They're basically made of fruit, so no one watching their weight can complain, really.
From the cook's perspective, they're great because they don't use an ice-cream machine, so no annoying gadgets to wash up afterwards. Fun, cooling, easy and pretty much instant to make. I, for one, can't resist them.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 75 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
This is the only lolly that truly speaks to my adult palate. It's not too sweet, tastes beautifully fruity and has a lovely, coarse texture. For this recipe to work you need a super-ripe pineapple, so hold it to your nose and take a deep breath when you're at the store; you're looking for a sticky, almost exaggerated pineapple smell.
1 very ripe large pineapple, peeled (approx 500g/1lb peeled weight)
2 tbsp caster sugar
Handful mint leaves
Grated zest and juice 1 lime
Finely chop the pineapple, discarding the core. Place the fruit and any juices into a bowl and use a fork to mash it. Grind the sugar, mint and lime zest with a pestle and mortar until the mint has broken up to a coarse powder. Stir into the pineapple with the lime juice. Spoon into ice-lolly moulds and freeze until almost set. Push wooden sticks into the lollies and freeze completely.
There's so much alcohol in Bill's Negroni granita that it won't even freeze solid
Who says cocktails can't be served at the end of a meal? Warning, though: don't let the fact that it's so fruity and refreshing fool you: there's so much alcohol in here that it won't even freeze solid. The benefit is that you need only scrape the mixture with a fork once to get that crystally granita texture.
5 tbsp caster sugar
100ml/3½fl oz Campari
100ml/3½fl oz sweet vermouth
50ml/2fl oz gin
600ml/1 pint freshly squeezed orange juice
Tip the sugar into a jug with 150ml/¼ pint of boiling water from the kettle. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the Campari, sweet vermouth, gin and orange juice. Pour into freezer container. Freeze the mix for at least 4 hours. Use a fork to break the mixture into crystals. Spoon into glasses and serve immediately.
Serve Bill's peach yoghurt ice-cream with blueberries and almonds
Peach yoghurt ice-cream with blueberry sauce
Serving this with blueberries and almonds makes it a beautiful dessert, but when it's been just the kids and me, we've happily dipped our spoons straight into the food-processor bowl.
750g/1½lb ripe peaches, stoned, chopped
Zest and juice ½ lemon
100g/3½oz fat-free Greek yoghurt
4 tbsp caster sugar
50g/2oz toasted almonds, chopped
For the sauce
50g/2oz caster sugar
Zest and juice ½ lemon
Place the chopped peaches, in a single layer, on a baking sheet. Freeze for 4 hours, or until solid.
To make the sauce, place the sugar in a wide-based shallow pan or frying pan. Turn the heat to low and cook until the sugar has dissolved and turned a golden caramel colour. Add half the blueberries and 2 tbsp water. Stir over the heat for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining berries and the lemon juice and zest. Set aside.
Remove the peaches from the freezer and add to a food processor or blender with the juice and grated zest of the lemon. Pulse until the fruit starts to break up. Tip in the yoghurt and sugar and continue to whizz until completely smooth. Serve immediately, topped with the blueberry sauce and toasted almonds.
Food preparation: Marina Filippelli; Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes
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