Lychee and Grand Marnier Granita


I’ve never given much thought to what I would do with a pound of lychees. I don’t buy them very often, and the few times I have I just peeled them and ate them fresh. I’m also fairly certain that they don’t grow locally, so I wouldn’t tend to buy them unless I have a serious lychee craving (something I have yet to experience). But when my friend Henry brought over a pound bag of lychees the other day, I decided to take it as a challenge. They sat in my fridge for a few days, staring at me. I wanted to make something refreshing and interesting with them.

I finally settled on a lychee granita. I’d never made a granita before, but knew that it’s basically a way to make a sorbet without the ice cream maker. You put some sort of fruit puree or juice in a bowl in the freezer. Periodically, you take it out and break up the ice with a fork and then put it back. You keep doing this until it makes a nice, frozen slush. Seems simple enough.

I peeled and pitted my lychees- not really worrying about how they looked, since I knew they would end up in puree form. Then I saw some grapes that were sitting on the counter, waiting to be eaten. I decided that these might be a nice complement to the lychee flavor. I thought that the mixture would need some acidic component, since lychees and grapes are both very sweet. The lime I had leftover from last night’s margaritas would work perfectly! And to top it all off and to fancy the dessert up a bit, I added a shot or so of grand marnier. All these ingredients went into my food processor (a blender would also do the trick) and pureed until it made a smooth juice-like mixture. I put it all in the freezer and mixed it around with a fork every 30 minutes or so. The result was quite refreshing and tasty. The skin from the grapes didn’t blend down as much as I would have liked, so I may leave those out next time in favor of some shredded apples instead. Overall though, I think it was a success!

Here is an approximate breakdown of the ingredients:
3-4 cups peeled and pitted lychees (canned would work too)
1 cup grapes (or try 1 peeled and shredded apple…and let me know how it turns out!)
juice of 1 lime
1 shot of Grand Marnier (Triple Sec or Cointreau would work too)
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