Sunday, March 16, 2008

(Almost) Rotten cantaloupe granita

A couple of weeks ago I was looking at cantaloupes in the store. I had never before bought cantaloupes (really), so I went for it and bought two.

Of course, yesterday afternoon I realized I had completely forgotten about the cantaloupes. There they were, hiding somewhere between our plants. The smell was there: eat me or I'll die. Or maybe: eat me, I'm almost dead.

I cut one up, ate some, got bored and put the rest back in the fridge, all nicely cut up and properly tupperwared. (K. opted for bread and mushrooms to get her daily amount of fruit.) I was proud of myself, for rescuing at least one of them. But I had no idea what to do with the other one: cutting it up would surely mean having it morph into some strange thing in the fridge instead. I thought of cryonics and the urban legend surrounding the late Walt Disney and looked at the freezer instead. But the thought of defrosted cantaloupe made me want to cry.

Fortunately, I have a nice blender, courtesy of my former roommates. Plus, again to my friends' credit, I have a fantastic bottle of grappa di nebbiolo (one of the most wonderful grappas I've ever tried). And there was room in the freezer. So I put the other canteloupe in the blender with some sugar (about 1/4 cup), a splash of grappa (anything more than a splash and I'd end up in the bottom of the Charles with cement shoes, I know), the juice of half a lemon, and a couple of ice cubes (optional, I'd say).

The whole thing has been in the freezer for a while in a plastic container. We just shaved some off the top and put it in a bowl after dinner. The result is icy and yet creamy (probably because of the alcohol). It hits you with a punch of fresh fruit, followed by a hint of grappa that leaves your mouth tingly (a true two-part taste experience). It's pretty good, if I may say so. But I blame it on the (almost?) rotten fruit.

(The inspiration came from a post by David Lebovitz. I adapted a recipe from Gourmet, August 2005, that didn't seem right to me.)


British cooking, mmmm..... said...

I am sure noone has forgotten the Haymarket 10lbs of rotten fish incident. If only I had known that a splash of liquor and some sugar would have turned it into an appetising desert...

(Perhaps to serve with chocolate goat's cheese?)

vavavoom said...

oh, lord. i'd forgotten about the chocolate goat cheese. (but not the fish--never the fish..)