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Raspberry Lemon Ginger Granita with Lemon Cream

  You know what's cool?  When you type "Indigo Scones" into Pinterest's searchbar and a bunch of pins that you didn't start yourself show up.

  Or when you Google "Indigo Scones" and your blog is in the top results.

  When you realize that not only are people noticing you, they're saying some very nice things.

  Who gets teary-eyed looking at comments like, "I love your blog!!"?  Me.  I do.  Why?

  Because this time last year, I was running a garishly purple blog with awful pictures, elbow-deep in cinnamon roll dough that refused to rise for me all week.

  Because later on I deleted that blog, with no big hopes of restarting it anytime soon.  Instead, I started following blog after blog, watching how they dealt with things.  But I was always, always making food.

  So I think I've come about as far as one can go in 12 months.  Who knew that within 3 months of angrily deleting my blog, it would come right back?  I guess somebody thought it ought to stick around.

  Anyway, I'm happy to be here.  Really, I'm so so happy.

  And now I'm shutting up, before I get all bleary-eyed again.

  The stars must have aligned for this week's Sunday with Joy.  Amidst the boiling hot dry temperatures of the Midwest, there was granita.

  Now, ice cream certainly has its place, and sorbets are always a treat.  But when it's literally 100 degrees outside, you don't feel much like doing anything, even eating.  Enter this tart, bright, refreshing frozen treat.  If you're thinking this is some disgusting, water-y, wanna-be Slushie, you're wrong.  This is like a really flavorful frozen pink lemonade, just bursting with fresh flavor.  I love the spicy bits of candied ginger throughout, it took this dish from "good" to "awesome."

  Admittedly, the called-for flavor in Joy's book was actually espresso.  Look, I'm not a coffee freak.  I'm just not.  I tolerate the occasional latte or cappuccino, but further than that I have not yet gone.

  So I improvise.  What can I pair with Joy's sweet lemon whipped cream that would be quite stellar?  Oh, what's this?  Leftover fresh raspberries, and extra lemon?

  Done deal.

  Be sure to check out the other group members' posts at the bottom!  I'm hosting the link-up tool today, due to the fact that it's my co-administrator's anniversary.  Be sure to send your well-wishes over to Bakeaholic Mama on her special day!

  Stay cool, my friends.

Raspberry Lemon Ginger Granita with Lemon Cream
Yield: about 8 cups

Ingredients for the granita:
  • 2 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 (6-ounce) container fresh raspberries 
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped candied ginger

Ingredients for the lemon cream:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream 

Combine 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.  In a glass bread pan or other freezer-friendly glass dish, combine the lemon juice and 2 cups of water. Pour in the simple syrup (boiled sugar/water mixture you made) and stir well.

Using the tines of a fork, coarsely crush the raspberries.  Add the crushed berries and chopped ginger to the lemon mixture and stir well.  Place the pan in the freezer and freeze for 1 hour.  Stir the mixture with a fork and return to freezer.  Allow to rest for another hour, then stir again with a fork.  Allow to rest for 30 minutes, then stir again with a fork.  Continue to do this every 30 minutes, until the mixture is flaky and fully iced over, about 3 to 4 hours.  As the mixture freezes, stirring it often helps to create the flakes and flecks, rather than a solid block.  Once flaked and ready, the dish can be covered in tinfoil and rest in the freezer until ready to serve.

To make the lemon cream, place sugar on a cutting board or clean counter surface.  With a bench press or the back of a spoon, rub the lemon zest into the sugar for about 3 minutes.  This will release essential oils from the zest, creating a more flavorful sugar.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream for 1 minute.  Add the scented sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.  Serve cream with the granita in small dishes.  Granita will last up to 3 days in the freezer.

Sources: granita adapted from Sarah's Cucina Bella via Taste for Adventure, cream from Joy the Baker's Cookbook