Melon and gin granita with fennel biscuits
- September 2016
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 15 min, plus chilling and freezing
An easy recipe for an impressive dinner party dessert – throw together in 15 minutes and let the freezer do the rest.
- 24.1g (13.9g saturated)
- 52g (32.8g sugars)
For the granita
- 3 ripe cantaloupe melons, seeds removed
- 50ml gin, plus extra
- Juice 1 lime, plus extra
- A few pinches sugar (optional)
- Fresh basil leaves to decorate
For the biscuits
- 150g unsalted butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 3 medium free-range egg yolks
- 150g plain flour
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- To make the granita, scoop the melon flesh into a food processor, then blend with the gin and lime juice until almost smooth. Taste; you may want a splash more gin or lime juice, or a little sugar.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow freezerproof container, then freeze. Every hour, mix it with a fork, pulling the ice crystals into the centre, until frozen but slushy (about 3-4 times).
- To make the biscuits, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Beat in the yolks, then add the flour witha pinch of salt and the fennel seeds. Beat to form a stiff dough. Wrap in cling film, then chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. Divide the dough into 20-25 small balls, then space them out on the baking sheets and flatten to around 0.5cm thick. Press a fork onto the tops to decorate, then bake for 15 minutes or until pale golden and beginning to crisp. Set aside for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Spoon the granita into small bowls or glasses, decorate with basil, then serve with a few biscuits.
Remove the granita 20-30 minutes before serving to soften, then fluff up with a fork.
Make sure the melon is really ripe – it can even be overripe, as the slightly fermented flavour stands up well to freezing.
Swap the gin with vodka or white rum, or omit it. If you don’t like fennel, omit it or add 1 tsp vanilla extract instead.
The granita will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week. The cooled biscuits will keep in an airtight tin for 2-3 days or in the freezer in bags for a month.
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