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Pear and Lemon Granita

by Rose Gray, Ruth Rogers from The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook

This refreshing granita is a refreshing way to round off a dinner party. Fragrant and fruity with the flavours of pear and lemon, it's a wonderful palate cleanser.


The fresh, fruity flavour of this granita will be achieved if you use either Comice, a very tender, aromatic, richly flavoured pear with creamy white flesh, or Conference, which has a thick skin and a sweet flavour. Conference pears are widely available and are usually less expensive than Comice. They are easily recognized by their elongated shape. Do not use William pears for granita – their firm grainy texture and sweetness make them better for cooking.

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5 very ripe pears
150g caster sugar
1 large lemon, juice


Peel, core and roughly chop the pears, then mash with a fork. The pears should not be smooth, but should retain a bit of texture. Add the sugar and lemon juice and mix well.

Pour into shallow ice trays or cake tins and put into the freezer. Allow the juice to freeze partially, for about 20–30 minutes. Mash with a fork to break up the ice crystals, then return to the freezer and leave for a further 20 minutes. Repeat this process, mashing up the frozen juice, returning it to the freezer and freezing, until you have a hard, dry, crystalline granita. This will take up to 2½ hours.

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