You guys deserve another frozen treat recipe from me to get you through the remainder of the summer! With only 5 ingredients and a few hours in the freezer, my Strawberry Beer Granita will have you impressing your friends and family with minimal effort. Okay, you may not be trying to impress your friends and family, you might just want to keep this to yourself…you can keep this in the freezer and scrape the surface with a fork for whenever the mood for a refreshing icy beverage strikes.
Inspiration Behind the Strawberry Beer Granita
I had wanted to make a granita for quite some time now; it’s been years since I’ve made one. If you aren’t familiar with granitas they are an Italian semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water, and fruit that are blended together and then frozen until it’s icy and the surface is scraped with a fork every half hour or so. You want fluffy icy flakes to form to know that it is ready.
I’ve had 2 bottles of Abita Strawberry Lager sitting in my refrigerator for months. I told y’all in my Blue Moon Bread Pudding recipe that I don’t generally drink beer and if I do, I like fruit beers, but I’m still trying to find several beers that I do not mind drinking. Well, I tried the Abita Strawberry Lager and was a little disappointed; I thought the strawberry flavor was going to be a little bit stronger. So I knew I was going to use the remaining bottles in some recipe and add strawberries to it to enhance the flavor.
So y’all know it’s summertime and the strawberries are extra sweet because we can get them shipped in from local farms. I figured it would be simple to freeze the beer because the alcohol content is so low! That’s when I knew I could create a Strawberry Beer Granita.
Tips for the Strawberry Beer Granita
For the strawberry purée, please don’t skip straining it. You don’t want to hit any seeds when you are eating the granita. It may take 5 or so minutes to strain all of the strawberry purée, but trust me when I say that it’s worth it! Here’s the type of fine mesh strainer that I use.
PLEASE use a container large enough to hold this granita mixture. I made the mistake of initially putting the granita mixture in an 8×10 pan and quickly realized that wasn’t going to cut it. So I ended up transferring the granita mixture to my new 9×13 pan that has a lid which worked out perfectly.
Now, most recipes will tell you to scrape the granita’s surface every 30 minutes and that it will take about 2-3 hours to be ready. Well, I was busy cooking dinner and then eating so I honestly forgot to scrape it every 30 minutes on the dot and my Strawberry Beer Granita still came out fine! So don’t fret if you forget to scrape it every half hour, granitas are very forgiving. The only difference you will have is with the size of the icy particles, which isn’t that big of a deal.
You can skip the chopped strawberries in the granita mixture if you want to. I only wanted to add another textural element to the dish so that’s why I included it.
Also, you do not have to use the same beer that I did if you can’t find it near you. I just suggest using a light beer for this recipe because I think stouts might be a bit too strong here. You can also use a different fruit. Have fun tweaking this recipe!
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Equipment used in this recipe: