This past weekend I spent in Rome visiting a few friends and just enjoying the last days of summer. Unfortunately, I would say that the days I spent there were the hottest and muggiest that I had experienced all summer! Thankfully, Rome is full of gelaterias to help you stay cool.
I made a (few) stop(s) :) to one of my favorite gelaterias within walking distance of where I was staying in Trastevere: Fior di Luna. As I mentioned in my Tour del Gelato post about the gelateria, it’s not a flashy place. The gelato is not piled high in mountains with moka-shaped chocolate (coffee maker) or whole oranges or coconuts sticking out of it. Many a tourist walks by the gelateria and keeps walking until they reach one of the flashier, “Blue Ice” type gelaterias which will reward you with quantity rather than quality (and there’s a time and place for that, too). And that’s ok: more for me!
But this weekend I did something rare: I got a little cup and instead of choosing the normal 2-3 flavors the size provides you with, I got just one flavor: Uva Fragola. I love eating Uva Fragola, Concord Grapes, but when I saw the dark purple goodness of the Uva Fragola sorbetto, I knew I only wanted that.
And it was so good that I kept thinking about it, and decided to make it at home as a granita. I have to be honest that I normally look to David Lebovitz for inspiration for all things ice cream, so I opened up his The Perfect Scoop cookbook (I’ve made a few adaptions of recipes from that before: Watermelon Sorbetto Granita, Fig Sorbet).
My resulting recipe is a faint shadow of his but delicious nonetheless. I used a darker Fair Trade sugar, Mascobado, which I think really complimented the grapes.
Fresh Concord Grape “Uva Fragola” Granita
Note: Protect your workplace by working on a surface that is not porous or can be easily cleaned up. Any spills should be removed immediately as they maystain. (I found the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser cleaned up pretty well) As for your teeth after eating this, make sure to give a good scrub before going out in public! It will be difficult to sneak bites of this without someone else knowing.
Note 2: I recommend making this the morning of or the day before you need it as it’s much easier to thaw out a granita rather than try to speed up the freezing process!
700g Concord grapes (uva di fragola)
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 cup (100g) mascobado sugar
1 1/2 cups (350ml) water
- Remove the grapes from the stems and place in a saucepan. Add half the water and half the sugar, and the lime juice and set on low to medium heat for a few minutes. Once the grapes are soft and easily squishable (technical term) against the side of the pan, take it off the heat and continue to smash the grapes to release them from their skins and seeds. You could use a potato masher to help the process along or the side of a wooden spoon.
- At this point, taste the mixture for sugar levels and add the rest of the sugar if necessary (I did).
- Once the mixture cools enough to handle (watch those splashes!), pass the mixture through a mesh strainer or food mill, stirring and continuing to smash as much juice as possible from the mixture. Discard the skins and seeds.
- Taste the mixture again, and if it’s too concentrated, add the rest of the water and more if necessary.
- Pour the mixture into a low tray or tupperware container. After the first hour, you can scrape the sides of the granita toward the center and continue to freeze it.
- To serve, thaw for a few minutes outside of the freezer and then use a fork to break up the granita into chunks, or scrape it with a spoon into serving dishes.
What would you pair this granita with?
mmmmmmm… this with a nice crisp flute of prosecco would have my number ;) Sounds divine.
Joan Nova says
I’m thinking a wedge of gorgonzola and a glass of prosecco. Looks luscious!
City Girl says
Something luscious and a bit tangy — yogurt gelato would work well :)
Fit Bottomed Girl says
I’m thinking crumbled up biscotti. Gosh that looks good…
Looks wonderful! BTW, I think you have a typo…quantity rather than QUALITY. ;-)
Peanut butter cookie? PB&J!
Although the Europeans don’t seem to embrace the peanut like we do here in the US…and hazelnuts don’t taste quite the same.
Shelley, Almost Roman says
Yum! So, I heard about the heat, ugh. How’s my neighborhood doing?
I bought Smucker’s Concord Grape Jam at the grocery store yesterday… does that count? I plan to make a sandwich with Jif Extra Crunchy when the urge strikes.
Miss you, Ms.!
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
I love the combinations you guys are suggesting!! I’ll have to try them. I especially am curious about the gorgonzola :)
@Melanie – fixed! Thanks.
@Shelley – this weekend it was pretty unbearable. That, plus the lovely noise of all the people :) But gotta love it. Trastevere told me it misses you guys.
Concord grapes are my fave, as I love the sweet & sour all the the same grape. The deep purple colour makes want to listen to, well…Deep Purple!
erin :: the olive notes says
Wow…I can imagine the stains :) But I’m sure it’s well worth any possible accident!
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
Ooooh, the color! Amazing! I’d pair this with biscotti or ginger cookies. No, probably I’d just eat it straight, to savor the taste.
Sara's Mom says
You probably don’t remember, but your grandfather raised concord grapes in Michigan and you may have eaten them there as a toddler. He made his own sweet wine with them! The flavor and sweetness are all in the skins. Those are the only grapes I knew as a child. Glad you enjoy them so.
joanne at frutto della passione says
The Sicilian in me is leaning towards eating this with a warm brioche!
It looks amazing. I hate to admit that I do not know what mascobado sugar is.
Jessica, Italy Logue says
It’s such an amazing color… Does it taste as intense as it looks?
Hey Sara, can you put the cooled liquid into an ice cream maker instead of a container? Would it make a yummy sorbetto?
We have uva fragola in our garden in Positano. Its a favourite amongst the kids so I don’t know if I’d have enough to make granita. Is mascobado the same as mascovado sugar?
jesse m. says
Every single flavor granita that i make (trust me i’ve tried everything) pairs beautifully with vanilla bean semifreddo or vanilla gelato. Think Creamsicle… icy and creamy is a killer combo.
nyc/caribbean ragazza says
This looks so good. I went back to San Crispino to get that blackberry sorbetto but they didn’t have it that day. :(
Sara guess what? The weather has completely changed. Now it’s nice and cool. I had to sleep with a blanket last night.
I apologize — this is off-topic — but I think some of you guys may be able to help. I love biscotti with my morning caffe latte but I’m always having trouble finding ones like I used to eat in Italy. Any suggestions of brands I can buy in the U.S.? Grazie di cuore!
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
Mascobado sugar is also called muscovado – though my mascobado was very dry and light-colored, as you can see from the photo.
Zlatko Mesic says
I am growing Fragola in our Garden, and now they are ready for harvesting. It was very dry season here in Melbourne Australia and I was strugling to save Grapes from Insects, Bees, Wasps and Rats. My Vife is going to make the Cake as described in Jamie Oliver Book. In his Book he named the Cake Nada, and this is my Vife Name. She did it last year and it was delicious. Now she can also use your recipe. When is done I will let you know.
I bought this Uva grape variety from Tractor Supply Co., grown at the DeGroot Farm, Inc out of Michigan. Very winter hardy at Zone 3 in the mtns of northern NH. I’ll let you know how it tastes in 5 months!