Dish of the day: Mulled wine granita
The culinary equivalent of all those people sitting in the park in the early Spring sun with their beanie and scarves on, this granita allows you to dip your toe into Summer while keeping on firmly British footing.
I love mulled wine and think it’s a shame when the Christmas season is over and you’re not supposed to drink it any more, and this recipe has all the beautiful spicing and deep wintery flavours of the drink, while being more citrusy, refreshing and light. The spices used here are all optional – feel free to use whatever is to your taste. The recipe is for a tub but you could make easily make it into an ice lolly, put your scarf on and go to the park.
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus infusing, cooling and freezing times
Cooking time: 10 minutes
220ml boiling water
1 Lapsang Souchong tea bag
80g caster sugar
300ml red wine (preferably a fruity, unoaked wine like Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
40g raspberries, crushed (optional)
One cake tin or Pyrex dish (see below)
- Pour the boiling water into a heatproof jug and drop in the tea bag. Leave to infuse for 5 minutes, then pour into a heavy-bottomed pan, add the sugar and heat over a medium heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 4–5 minutes, until it thickens to a syrup. Allow to cool.
- Heat the wine, spices, juice, zest and raspberries, if using, in another pan and simmer for 4–5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool and mull for a while – 30 minutes should do.
- Combine the sugar syrup and mulled wine and strain through a sieve. Discard the spices and tea bag.
- Pour the mixture into your cake tin or Pyrex dish and place in the freezer. After 40 minutes, use a fork to scrape the frozen bottom of the tin or dish. Stir the ice chips into the liquid and return to the freezer. Repeat every 20 minutes until there is no liquid left – approximately 3 hours. Break up the finished granita with a fork to serve.
NOTE: The size of the tin you use will affect the size of the granita crystals you form – a tin with a bigger surface area will freeze more rapidly and will produce larger crystals, while a smaller dish will be slower to freeze and will produce a smoother granita with smaller crystals. You can also use an ice cream tub or a bowl – anything that is suitable for putting in the freezer.Tagged in: Dish of the Day, Lily Vanilli, mulles wine granita
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