Pear and Vanilla Vodka Granita with Sweetend Lemon Scented Cream

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A while ago on the Sundays with Joy facebook group they made espresso granita with sweet lemon cream. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like coffee, so I really didn’t want to make it as well its coffee flavoured. However I did play around and make granita based on a cocktail I had recently had. At the time I didn’t blog about it as it was the middle of winter and I had a couple of other posts on the go.

Well Summer’s got off to an early start here, cue ridiculous heat and some humidity. So I thought it might be time to revisit it. Its prefect for summer as its cold, icy and refreshing. It’s also really really really easy to make. You are pretty much mixing a few liquid ingredients, freezing then topping with some whipped cream sweetened with lemon infused sugar.

It’d be a delightful dinner party desert and its easy put sounds really fancy.

I’m giving you a recipe but I suggested tasting it and adding more of less of the ingredients to taste

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2 types of vodka (winner) plus the always fancy sounding elderflower cordial are amongst the ingredients

Pear and Vanilla Vodka Granita with sweetened lemon scented cream recipe adapted from Joy The Baker Cook Book

2 cups warm water

70ml of pear vodka

30ml of vanilla vodka

50 ml elderflower cordial

30ml lemon juice

1/2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 cups cream

3 tbls sugar

1 tsp lemon zest

In a glass bowl dissolve sugar in water, leave to cool for a bit

Add vodkas, elderflower cordial and lemon juice, mix taste and adjust if required.

Put in freezer, after 1 hour take out and scrape and break up with a fork (what you don’t want to happen is for it to freeze into a solid mass, which is probably unlikely with all the vodka), put back in freezer. After 30 mins take out and scrap with fork again. Leave 3-4 hours until frozen into flaky crystals.

Once it’s all frozen  and flaky, it can stay like this for a few day.

When ready to serve, put sugar into mortar and pestle with lemon zest, lightly pound together to release oils form lemon.

Whipped cream for 1 min, then add sugar, keep whipping until peaks form.

fill glasses with granita, and top with dollop of lemon scented cream.

Enjoy on a hot night.

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Candy Cane Infused Vodka

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas (cue music)

No really it is, there are decorations up in all the shops and here in the city I live in Christmas has been heralded in by the annual Christmas pageant which is one of the biggest, if not the biggest Christmas pageants in the world. Its huge and this year over 350 000 people turned out to watch it (that’s like 1/3 of the city’s population).

Tradition growing up was that we put the Christmas tree up on pageant day, and I’ve continued this tradition with my kids. We blast out the Christmas music (much to my husband’s horror), and set to work putting up and decorating the tree and much of the house. We even had our outside lights up on the same day. Whilst that sounds impressive it’s really 2 strands of solar powered lights which over time have become entangled with a climbing rose and wisteria so we can’t actually pack them up, so all actually do is flick the on switch.

One of my new Christmas traditions is to make candy cane infused vodka. I got the idea to make it whilst listening to the Joy the Baker podcast and Joy and co host Tracey were talking about making infused vodka. I thought candy cane infused vodka would make an amazing present. I was wrong on 2 counts with this. I envisioned little jar of candy canes surrounded by vodka, reality the vodka essentially melts the candy canes within hours so its becomes a pink, sticky vodka mixture. The second reason is the smell. The permit in the candy canes combines with the vodka to make a scent one what one might tactfully call super charged mouth wash. I’ve totally put you off making it now haven’t I, well stick with me on this.

Ok so it didn’t turn out exactly as planned, but not being one to waste vodka I put out the call on facebook as to what I could drink it with. A very wise and knowledgeable friend suggested apple juice. So I bought some apple juice and mixed a shot of the candy cane vodka in with a glass of apple juice and hello new favourite Christmas drink. The peppermint worked really well with the apple juice. I’, thinking about this year taking it a bit further and making full cocktail using the vodka, so I’m all up for suggestions on things to mix with the candy cane vodka.

I’m not going to give you a recipe for this as it’s so easy. You just need a glass jar, vodka ( go with mid range stuff) and candy canes. Simply put candy canes in jar pour in vodka so it comes almost all the way up to the top of candy canes (I used 7 full sized candy canes in a 500ml jar then just poured in vodka till almost up to top of candy canes), put lid on leave in dark place for 3-4 weeks shaking every couple of days and ta do, candy cane vodka.