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Strawberry Mint Granita (aka Italian Ice)

I think in-season strawberries — sweet, tiny, juicy, not-a-hint- of-a-white-stem-to-be-found strawberries — are even more special than most farmer’s market scores because you have a relatively small window to eat them once you lug your loot home. We rarely bring home a bushel that lasts more than a day — the girls just pluck them out of a bowl we leave on the kitchen counter all day. And in my opinion, eating them straight is the only way to eat them. But should you find yourself in the unusual position of having some last-legs, liquefying berries, strawberry granitas (in my house “Italian Ices”) which involve processing the berries into a beautiful red puree before chilling and flaking, are a nice summery solution. And also disappear pretty fast.

Strawberry Mint Granita

2/3 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups strawberries (de-stemmed)
4 mint leaves

Stir first 3 ingredients in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Process strawberries in a food processor until smooth. Add sugar mixture and mint and blend until combined.

Pour mixture into metal sheet pan. Freeze until icy around edges, about 25 minutes. Using fork, stir icy edges into middle of pan. Freeze until mixture is frozen, stirring edges into center every 20 to 30 minutes, about 1 1/2 hours. Using fork, scrape granita into flaky crystals. Cover tightly and freeze. Scrape granita into bowls. Add a fresh berry or two on top.

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