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Make Your Own Hawaii Snow

snow in hawaii, granitaWhen I heard news of snow in Hawaii today, and in fact that there was snow in 49 states (good thing I didn’t plan to escape from Canada now for a tropical vacation – oh the irony of going for the first time, only to find snow in Hawaii!) I didn’t think it was possible. After seeing evidence of a first in Hawaii weather – a video of locals having their first snowball fights and building their first snowmen (watch below!) I can’t imagine how those who may have never seen and experienced the white stuff are dealing with a deep freeze. Are there school closures in Hawaii when there’s a snow day? This could be a first!

It also reminded me of a dessert my childhood friend’s mom used to make when we were kids – she called it Hawaii snow. It was like a sweet, granular not-quite-ice cream that tasted like coconut. Thinking back, it most closely resembled a granita – far easier to make than ice cream, as it can be frozen in a pan and then scraped out with a fork, which is what gives it its characteristic crystalline texture.

I looked around and found a few granita recipes – the general idea is to freeze sweetened juice or other liquid, then scrape it into a cup or cone, like a more solid version of a slush.

If you want to make it look like mauna kea – an active volcano in south-central Hawaii – you can pile up the ice cream in a volcano shape and drizzle chunky fruit sauce over the top and sides. Sometimes you need to have fun with your food!

Hawaii Snow

adapted from Cooking Light

2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of a lime (optional)
1/2 cup fresh lime or pineapple juice
1 cup coconut milk (regular or light)
1 tsp. coconut extract (optional)

Stir all the ingredients together in a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.

Pour into a baking dish, cover and freeze until solid. Take it out of the freezer (or bring it in from outside!) and let stand 10 minutes, then scrape the mixture with a fork until you have something that resembles snow. Sweet, delicious snow. Enjoy!

Photo credit: istockphoto/dulezidar

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