I love the simple combination of raspberries and a nice crisp Prosecco, and thought originally to use these ingredients, and not much more, to do a twist of an Italian Ice. Traditional Italian Ices are essentially composed of shaved ice with a syrup poured over it. But somewhere along the way I made a turn and never made it back to separately shaving ice. Instead this is a more granita-ish Italian Ice. The flavors are simple and pure and the ice is smooth as silk thanks to the Prosecco and a whipped egg white that I stirred in just before popping it in the freezer. It's almost embarrassingly easy to come together, like anything for summer should be, but the taste and texture bring a simple elegance to the table. —TheWimpyVegetarian
a little more than 1 pint (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 cups
agave nectar (you can use a 1 for 1 substitution of granular sugar)
Combine the raspberries and agave nectar in a medium pot. Smash the raspberries with a potato masher or the bottom of a ramekin. Add the lemon zest and juice, water, and Prosecco. Layer the mint leaves and twist them, tearing them a bit, in your fingers and add to the pot along with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the raspberries have completely broken down into a liquid. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Whip a egg white until it multiplies a few times in volume and its peaks hold, but still soft and a little droopy.
Strain the cooled raspberry syrup through a chinoise or similar sized mesh strainer to remove all the seeds, the zest and the mint. Add the whipped egg white and completely incorporate with a whisk. It's not necessary to be gentle with folding it in since it's not for a non-chemical leavener. The egg white (along with the Prosecco) is there strictly to give the granita a silky texture and to keep it from freezing too solidly. It does the same thing for sorbets and is especially useful when the recipe doesn't call for alcohol.
Pour into a baking pan big enough for the liquid to be 1"-2" deep. Pop it in the freezer for 2 hours. It will be partially frozen at that point, especially around the edges. With a spoon, mix the frozen part with the non-frozen part for a homogenous semi-liquid granita. Put back in the freezer for another 2 - 3 hours, checking every hour.
Before serving, place the bowls you will use for it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Scoop the Raspberry Italian Ice into the bowls using a spoon or ice cream scooper.
Eat, relax, savor.
Note: This has a much "creamier" texture than a granita, so using a fork to break it up won't have the same result. But It will still have more of the crunchiness of a granita vs the smoothness of a sorbet.