Mango-Tamarind-Sparkling Granita

Mango-Tamarind-Sparkling Granita

Serves 12 as a palate-cleanser, 6 as dessert

Tamarind Chutney (makes 1-1/2 cups)

1-1/4 cups sweetened Latin tamarind syrup

½ of an unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cored and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground fennel

¼ teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan until it shimmers, then add the spices, salt, and pepper.  Stir over high heat for 30 seconds to a minute, until you can smell it all and the spices darken just a bit.  Add the tamarind syrup (carefully, it may splatter) and the apple.  Simmer for 20 minutes, then let the chutney cool a bit.  Puree in a food processor or blender, and strain to remove the apple peel pieces (not always necessary, depending on how well your machine works).  Let the chutney cool completely, then refrigerate until cold.

Mango Puree

2 – 3 ripe mangoes, peeled and flesh cut from around the pit

Puree the mangoes until very smooth – they’re pretty fibrous so this will take at least a minute.  You’ll need a cup of the puree for the granita, so start with two mangoes and add some or all of the third if necessary.  You can always stir the leftovers into plain yogurt for breakfast.  Chill the puree in the fridge.

Granita

2/3 cup tamarind chutney, chilled

1 cup mango puree, chilled

2-1/2 cups demi-sec sparkling wine, chilled (see note, below)

This works much better if everything is cold to start with.  Stir the ingredients together and pour into an eight-by-eight inch baking dish.  Place in the freezer for an hour, uncovered, then stir everything up with a fork, using the tines of the fork to scrape the mixture into smaller crystals.  Continue freezing, stirring after each half hour, until fully frozen and nicely fluffy, another 1 to 2 hours.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and keep frozen until you’re ready to serve.

Note on demi sec sparkling wine:  If you only have dry sparkling wine, you can add two teaspoons of sugar to either the mango puree or the chutney before mixing in the sparkling wine – give it some time and stirring to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.

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