Friday, 1 October 2010

elderflower, cucumber & rosemary granita

When I went to Tasmania last year, I chanced upon elderflower cordial at Salamanca Market. I purchased a hot elderflower tea to go and instantly fell in love with the delicate floral taste of elderflowers, which, to me, is also reminiscent of lychees, one of my favourite fruits. Recently I have been thinking about revisiting elderflower cordial again, and in a stroke of glorious serendipity, the grocery store I frequent started stocking it. Yay!

Elderflower cordial is lovely in a simple drink with just iced or hot water, and I've drank several glasses since I procured myself a bottle. But I wanted to do something a little fancy with it as well, while still keeping things fairly uncomplicated, so I decided to try making an elderflower granita. Having recently discovered the cool, clean taste of cucumber in cocktails, I thought that a cucumber element could work very nicely here. I was keen to throw in some rosemary too, because I love its fragrance, and I don't use it nearly often enough in my kitchen adventures. So that settles it: a light and refreshing elderflower, cucumber and rosemary granita, perfect as a palate cleanser or a light dessert.

elderflower, cucumber and rosemary granita

A few notes on the following recipe. Cordials can vary by the brand, so do a taste test and adjust ingredients if necessary. The brand I used was Ashbolt, which isn't too sweet, and tastes very fresh, probably thanks to the lemon in the ingredients. With the cucumber, I used purée, but if you want your ice crystals pure and clear, use juice. I actually didn't use the optional lime/lemon or gin - they were just possibilities I thought could be worth exploring. Finally, opt for a shallow container as that will make the mixture easier to freeze and scrape, but also remember the ice crystals will end up requiring almost twice the space of the liquid, so accommodate for that.

elderflower, cucumber and rosemary granita recipe:

11/2 cups elderflower cordial
1 cup cucumber purée or juice
1/2 cup rosemary infusion (this requires 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried)
squeezes of lime or lemon juice, to taste (optional)
a few dashes of gin (optional)

- Make the rosemary infusion: bring 1/2 cup water to boil, add two sprigs of fresh rosemary, remove from heat and leave to steep for half an hour. I also bruised the rosemary sprigs with a spoon to release more flavour.
- Meanwhile, juice or blend the cucumber with the elderflower cordial. I threw in a few rosemary leaves here to blend as well for added visual effect.
- Combine elderflower cordial, cucumber juice, rosemary infusion (sprigs removed), and the optional gin and lime/lemon juice (if using) in a container.
- Cover container and place in the freezer. When it starts setting, break up the ice crystals with a fork every couple of hours to produce chunky little ice crystals, guiding them towards the centre. Do this until completely frozen. Alternatively, if you don't mind a slushier texture and have a food processor, an easier method would be to freeze the mixture as ice cubes, and process them the next day.

The result? An elegant, pale green granita that is sweet, subtle, and surprisingly soothing to the senses... sublime, even.

elderflower, cucumber and rosemary granita in a mini cucumber bowl

Additional note: I had more from the freezer in the following days and I'm still in love with this. Even as an icy dessert, it smells amazing the moment I open it up. I think this could be my most favourite creation so far!


  1. Dear Leaf!

    Thanks for the comment - really liked your granita recipe. Especially the rosemary twist was an interesting approach. Will definitely try it.

    All the best
    Kalle Bergman

  2. Hellow!

    I love your site, It is a pleasure to visit.

    I have added your site to my site.

    Please link my site to your site.

    Thank you!

  3. Thanks for your kind words Kalle and starwind777! :)

  4. This is wonderful. Sounds interesting and unique.

  5. Thanks Shanthi! If you can get the ingredients, I definitely recommend trying it. :)

  6. Elderflower, cucumber & rosemary granita. Sounds like really wonderful! No elderflower here in Japan though. I can only imagine for now. Thank you.

  7. Hey Michael, thanks for visiting! I think you can actually get elderflower cordial in Japan - perhaps in gourmet food stores that sell imported products? Anyway, I hope you get to try it one day. :)

  8. i feel thirsty looking at that =P...
    i need some water now...hehe

  9. Heheh, this granita is definitely a wonderful thirst-quencher! :P

  10. It sounds amazing! And lychees are one of my favourite fruits too. :D

  11. Thanks Agnes! You should try elderflower cordial. I even see it sometimes in regular supermarkets these days. Wonderful for summer! :D


Related Posts with Thumbnails