The temperature is rising and you are craving something sweet but it must be cold and refreshing with a bit of a kick to it – Moscato d’ Asti Granita is the answer.
With summer at hand I love to serve sparkling Moscato d’Asti as either an aperitivo or a dessert wine. My special relationship with AA Poggio allows me access to a rather delightful selection which served as inspiration for this dessert.
Granita is a semi-frozen icy dessert with a texture ranging from chunky to smooth depending on how it is prepared. Although I understand that granita can be made with an ice cream machine, rendering a rather smooth texture, I have always prepared in the most rudimentary of ways; a rectangular baking dish placed in the freezer and a fork.
All that is needed to make granita is a simple syrup and flavoring agent, in this case Moscato d’Asti. The preparation is certainly not difficult but some patience is an absolute must.
Chilling all the components, the simple syrup, Moscato d’ Asti, baking dish, fork and spatula will greatly help the process along. A timer will keep you on track to stir the base as it begins to form ice crystals. Returning to the freezer every thirty minutes to break up the ice crystals, distributing them throughout on a consistent bases will render a smooth and slushy Moscato d’ Asti Granita.
Generally this is best served on the day it is prepared, however I have used it a day or two beyond and it does maintain its texture for the most part. Moscato d’ Asti Granita is the ultimate dessert on a warm summer evening and complements any meal.
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- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup cool water
- 1 cold bottle of Moscato D’Asti 750 ml
- 1 table fork and rubber spatula placed in the freezer for at least one hour
- Baking dish placed in the freezer for at least one hour
- Glass container also placed in the freezer to store the finished granita
- Prepare a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bringing it to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, remove from the heat and allow it to cool enough to place it into the refrigerator for at least one hour or until cold. This step can be done a day or more in advance and kept in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- Remove the chilled baking dish and utensils from the freezer and pour the Moscato d’Asti and simple syrup into the baking dish. Mix gently to combine and place the baking dish back into an easily accessed spot in your freezer. Set the timer for 30 minutes.
- Once the timer rings, open your freezer and give the mixture a stir. At this point some icy pieces will have collected along the sides of the dish, scrape and mash with a fork. Close the freezer and once again set the timer for 30 minutes.
- Continue this process for several hours. As you continue to return to the freezer and scrape the dish you will begin to see the change in consistency of the granita. It is very important to use the fork to break up larger ice formations if you prefer a smoother granita, which frankly is much more elegant and refreshing in my opinion. This process may take 3 to 4 hours, but is well worth it.
- Once the granita has reached a snowy, yet decidedly frozen texture, turn it into the storage container and keep it in the freezer. The granita is best served that day or perhaps a day or two later. Maintaining it in the freezer for too long will result in an icy block. Serve in dessert glasses garnished with a few berries or mint sprig.