I love North Carolina, but it is hot here. Really hot. A day below 90 degrees is cause for celebration as far as I’m concerned. The good thing about all these hot days is that it’s the perfect excuse to get in the kitchen and make frozen treats, like this Pineapple Jalapeno Granita. (And, in my opinion, that’s the only good thing about hot weather. Popsicles! Ice cream! Granitas!)
Last summer when I had my community garden plot, one of the few veggies that grew really well was my jalapeno plant. My husband and I like jalapenos, but I started to panic because there were just so many. What would we do with them all?! One of the ways I started to use them was in fruit salads. The mild heat of the jalapeno and the sweetness of fresh summer fruit works so well together. I’ve tried it with cantaloupe, watermelon, and mangoes, but my favorite pairing by far is with pineapple.
Because I had been completely overdoing the whole pineapple + jalapeno thing, I decided to mix things up a little bit and use the duo in a granita. I’ve made this several times since then because it’s become one of our favorite summer desserts. Don’t let the jalapeno put you off–this is only mildly spicy. Just enough to make things interesting.
A sweet and spicy granita adapted from Spicy Pineapple Ice Pops in Paletas by Fany Gerson
- 1 c. water
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 jalapeno, halved (don't discard the seeds)
- 1 lb. pineapple, peeled and diced
- juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Combine the water, sugar, and jalapeno in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. When the mixture comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes more. Cool mixture to room temperature and then strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Add pineapple, lime juice, salt, and sugar mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Pour mixture into 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Freeze until ice forms around the edges. Stir with a fork and return to the freezer--repeat every 20-30 minutes until granita is completely frozen. Use a fork to scape the granita into fluffy crystals and serve.
Cook time is the time in the freezer. Freeze time is approximate--it takes about 3 hours in mine.