Blackberries and raspberries together are like divine intervention on the taste buds, perking them back to life after a sating repast.
A granita is a dessert ice with a decidedly crystalline, not smooth, texture. It’s one of the easiest frozen desserts to make, requiring no ice cream maker or intermittent beating as it freezes. The alcohol in the rum keeps this rendition from freezing solid, so it is easy to serve up either as slices from a decorative mold (for visual appeal) or scooped from a bowl, like a slush. The blackberries can be fresh or frozen, but the raspberries should be fresh. Or, you can puree frozen raspberries with a touch of sugar to make a sauce for topping the granita. Either way, the sugared mint leaf garnish adds the certain sine qua non that makes for a notable meal end.
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup filtered water
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen blackberries
1/3 cup dark rum
1/2 teaspoon Angostura or other bitters
15 large mint leaves
Sugared Mint Leaves, for serving (see the sidebar)
1. Combine the sugar and water in a small bowl and stir to mix and dissolve the sugar a bit.
2. Puree the blackberries, rum, bitters, fresh mint leaves, and sugar water together in a food processor or blender. Pour into a 1-quart mold and freeze.
3. While the granita freezes, make the sugared mint leaves.
4. To serve, if using a mold, trickle tap water over the bottom and sides of the mold to loosen the granita and invert it onto a plate. If using a bowl, remove from freezer to soften slightly 15 minutes before serving. Divide into portions, garnish each with raspberries and a sugared mint leaf or two, and serve.