Oolong and Cucumber Granita

We’ve had a pretty good spring/summer so far weather-wise here in London so I really shouldn’t complain. I have to say though, it’s now turning into the exact antithesis of my favourite weather of crisp, cool, but sunny days. It’s warm, but the sun is hiding behind a layer of cloud making the atmosphere really thick. Bottles of refreshing iced oolong and barley tea are getting me through the sticky weather though – happy days!

I’ve got some lovely borage in the garden at the moment which is blooming beautifully with its little, blue, star-shaped flowers. The bees absolutely love them – a factor of great importance when choosing what to grow in our teeny London garden! They’re edible too and have a honey-like taste which actually really compliments the cucumber flavour of their leaves. I had an idea…

I really like to put a slice of cucumber in drinks at this time of year for that extra-refreshing effect, and it’s really good in my oolong iced tea. I decided to try taking the iced idea even further and tried working this cooling combo into a granita. What better to decorate it with than some of my gorgeous borage flowers! With a little bit of prep, patience, and attention over the freezing period, you can have a really tasty granita that is the perfect snack on a hot day. It works really well as a between-course palate cleanser or pre-dessert as well.

Ingredients

  • 300ml cold water
  • 4 tsp Oolong tea
  • 1 cucumber
  • 125g caster sugar
  • Borage flowers for decoration

Method

  1. Steep the oolong in cold water overnight.
  2. Make syrup – strain oolong and heat with sugar gently until sugar dissolves. Boil for 2-3 minutes and then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Blitz the cucumber until as thin as possible. Combine the cooled syrup and cucumber and place in the freezer. Leave for 1 hour.
  4. After an hour, take out of the freezer. The edges should be starting to freeze. Comb those into the centre and mash with a fork. Place back in the freezer. Repeat every 30 minutes until everything is frozen. Freeze until ready to serve.
  5. Rake the granita with a fork and serve in small bowls. Garnish with a fresh or candied borage flower.

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