Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pineapple Buttermilk Granita

Not that long ago, my husband was on one of his many trips for work.  His squadron goes all over the place to train and perform the mission of his aircraft.  Most of the time, they use Hawaii as a home base for a few weeks and fly several missions from there.  In between the 6 to 8 hours of flying a day, there's always plenty of down time and fun to be had.  But somehow there never seems to be room in his luggage for me to stow away in...
During this past trip, I got a random picture texted to me in the middle of the day.  It was a picture of a giant ice cream cone filled with a very recognizable frozen treat- Dole Pineapple Whip.  He was teasing me with sweets.  From Hawaii.  On a beautiful day at the pineapple plantation.  How is that fair, I ask you?  I'm stuck with the day to day trials and tribulations of taking care of two boys at the tail end of summer vacation and he's traipsing around paradise flaunting his good fortune!

Determined not to let my hubby have all the fun, I snagged a pineapple from the nearest grocery store and set out to recreate that now-infamous and completely resented photo for myself.  Here's the problem- nobody really knows how Dole makes that Whip.  It's not ice cream, it's not sherbet or gelato either.  It's some crazy recipe only the Dole food scientists can figure out.  So I settled for the next best thing, a quick granita like my grandmother used to make when I was growing up. 

After much blending, mixing and tasting, I came up with what I think is just the right combination of flavors.  The granita is sweet from the pineapple and honey and tangy from the buttermilk and lime, with just a tiny bit of creaminess. With this container in my freezer, I'm only a few scoops away from my own little paradise here in the California sun.  So there! 

Pineapple Buttermilk Granita
Serves 4-6.
For a printable version, click here.

This is an easy treat to make and it doesn't require any fancy gadgetry.  Just a knife, measuring cup, blender, and fork.  So really, anyone can get a taste of paradise for very little effort.  That's my idea of a real treat!

3 1/2 cups coarsley chopped fresh pineapple (roughly 3/4 of an average pineapple)
1 tsp lime zest
juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup honey

In a blender, puree the pineapple, honey, lime juice and zest.  Add the buttermilk and blend just to mix.  Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 freezable pan (glass works well).  Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and freeze.

When the mixture begins to set (after about an hour and a half), stir it with a fork to loosen the crystals.  Repeat this after another 2 hours.  At this point, the granita is ready to serve.  Serve in small, chilled glasses or ice cream bowls.

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