Sunday, May 17, 2009

Inspired by Greenpoint: Raspberry Tea Granita

In 1990, Poland held it's first free elections.  Many absentee ballots were sent in from around the world but one neighborhood in Brooklyn accounted for 7,000 of those ballots: Greenpoint.  Did you get that?  Not 7,000 from one city or 7,000 from one borogh but 7,000 from one zip code.  This, good reader, is why I live in New York.  It's the most wonderfully diverse place on earth.

Greenpoint sits on the banks of the East River and Newtown Creek just across a short bridge from Queens.  Ten years ago you'd be hard pressed to get much more than pierogi, kielbasa, and nalesniki for food offerings.

But nowadays there are Thai and Japanese eateries alongside Nouveau American joints.  Manhattan Avenue is the established main drag but Franklin is where all the new action is coming up.  And by "new action" I mean cute bars with obscure beers and clothing stores I cannot afford.  I recommend both for a full and bountiful Greenpoint experience.  

Having lived near Greenpoint for so long, it's hard to see things anew but I for the sake of the freezer, I damn well did my best!  As you can tell from the pictures, there is a lot of red and white going on in the neighborhood.  So I went for something that would be sure to yield scarlet - raspberry tea.
I bought this tea in a deli and after coming home, decided to try my hand at granita.  This particular brand is a mix of raspberry, apple, rowan, rosehips, elderberry, and hibiscus.  I think plain old raspberry herbal tea will do.  

Raspberry Tea Granita

2 1/2 cups boiling water
4 tablespoons raspberry tea
3/4 cup turbinado sugar

Steep tea in boiling water for ten minutes.  Strain into pot over low heat.  Add sugar and stir until melted.  Pour the mixture into a shallow, oblong dish (dessert guru David Lebovitz prefers plastic and if he does, I will, too).  After one hour your mixture should start to freeze around the edges.  At this time you will want to take a fork and star breaking up the frozen parts into smaller bits and raking them toward the center of the dish.  Repeat this every 30 minutes or so until you have a marvelously course consistency throughout. Enjoy!
My boyfriend took this picture.  He's sweet that way.

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