Black Plum and Basil Granita

Basil plum granita 008This is an interesting and delicious way to use some of those plums that ripen overnight.  Basil is also in season, and combining it with the heavenly, winey flavor of ripe black plums is amazing.  If you grow other types of basil such as lime basil or cinnamon basil, use those instead, reducing the lime juice to 1 tablespoon.

Granita is juice that is partially frozen, forked around a little, then refrozen.  You don’t need an ice cream maker.  Easy, quick and nutritious, too!

Black Plum and Basil Granita
Author: 
Recipe type: Desert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8½ cup servings
 
Basil and allspice give a wonderful depth of flavor to winey black plums in this frozen treat.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 6 whole allspice (if you don't have allspice berries, use a small piece of cinnamon stick)
  • 1½ pounds black plums, pitted and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¾ cup basil leaves (not packed)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan combine water, sugar, vanilla, salt, allspice and prepared plums and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the plums begin to fall apart.
  3. Pour into a small bowl set in ice water in a larger bowl and cool completely.
  4. Fish out and discard the six allspice.
  5. In a blender or VitaMix process plum mixture, basil and lime juice until well blended.
  6. Press the plum mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl and discard solids. If you have a VitaMix you may not have any residual solids; the granita will be cloudier but will be more nutritious. Don't worry about it.
  7. Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish.
  8. Cover and freeze until partially frozen, about 2 hours.
  9. Scrape with a fork, crushing any lumps, and smooth down again.
  10. Freeze for 3 more hours, scraping with a fork every hour so that it doesn't freeze as a cube, until completely frozen.
  11. Serve in small scoops; really nice paired with little vanilla cookies.

 

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