The neighborhood kids take turns boarding their respective school buses, which drive by our road like clockwork, same time, same place. It's still dark when my boys run (actually it's more of a frankenstein trudge) to the bus, hauling their two-ton backpacks and football gear. The English boys cross the street and wait their turn patiently, already looking polished and proper at 7am. Later on the sun comes up, perking up the littlest ones, who play war games with their paper airplanes, happy that their bus is late.
Like Japanese Salarymen, my boys go about their early mornings like robots, moving from bed to shower to taking that death march to the bus in a stupor, then immediately fall asleep through the 45 minute ride to school.
Although nothing will ever shake them out of that morning daze, I thought a granita would be a welcome treat when they get back later.
Inspired by David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, granitas are a great way to sneak in fresh fruit that the boys take for granted, never mind that the sugar content is substantial. Combining the techniques from David's cookbook and my earlier post on Watermelon Granita, this granita has the sweetness of strawberries, an exotic tartness from the kiwi, with a fresh citrus twist from the lime. The fleshy textures of the fruit give this granita a nice density, where the flavors linger a bit longer in your mouth before melting into a refreshing coolness.
1 kilo fresh strawberries, hulled
4 pieces fresh kiwi, peeled and quartered
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
juice from 1 lime
for the sugar syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
zest from 1 lime
In a large bowl, mix the strawberries and kiwi with 6 tablespoons of sugar. Let stand, covered, for 1 hour.
In the meantime, make the sugar syrup by combining water, sugar and lime zest in a pot. Stir and cook until just boiling. Remove from heat and cool completely. Pass through a strainer to remove lime zest. Set aside.
Pour strawberry-kiwi mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Strain to remove most of the tiny seeds, and pour into a freezable container. Add cooled sugar syrup and lime juice and mix well. Cover and freeze for about 3 hours.
After 3 hours, take the container from the freezer. You'll find the granita beginning to freeze on the sides. Scrape this and stir through the mixture. Return granita to the freezer and leave to set for another 8-12 hours, depending on your freezer capacity.
When the granita is thoroughly frozen, take a fork and scrape through the mixture to create the slivers of slushy ice characteristic of a granita. Scoop and serve in a chilled glass.