Italian Summer with Raspberries

July  4, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes a little more than 1 pint (about 2 1/2 cups)
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (you can use a 1 for 1 substitution of granular sugar)
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Prosecco
  • 10 mint leaves
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg white
  1. 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.
  2. Whip a egg white until it multiplies a few times in volume and its peaks hold, but still soft and a little droopy.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Eat, relax, savor.
  7. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • aargersi
  • wssmom
  • lorigoldsby
  • Midge

31 Reviews

Sagegreen July 8, 2011
Gorgeous. Perfect combinations, too.
Thanks Sagegreen! I hope you're enjoying the summer!
aargersi July 6, 2011
Man this sounds great - I didn't know the eggwhite trick either - this is a must try for the upcoming (HOT) weekend!!!
Hey thanks aargersi! I hope you have a chance to try it - it's really refreshing.
wssmom July 6, 2011
The egg whites are genius in there! If I can wrest the prosecco away from the Spouse, this is definitely on the menu!
thanks wssmom! Definitely wouldn't be the same without the prosecco. Hope you have a chance to try this!
lorigoldsby July 6, 2011
Thanks for the note on WHY the egg white...I learn something new everyday I check in with my fellow food52ers! Looks lovely, you had me at "prosecco"
Thanks Lori! The addition of the egg white is pretty amazing. I've just recently learned this trick. And how can you go wrong with prosecco :-) ??
Midge July 5, 2011
This sound and looks wonderful!
Thanks so much Midge!!
Lizthechef July 5, 2011
I can't make recipes with uncooked eggs in our family. Does this wonderful creation work without the egg white? Looks lovely...
I'm so glad you mentioned this Liz! I should have added that they should be pasteurized. But they'll still be uncooked. One of my upcoming kitchen experiments is to try cooking the egg white on the stove like an Italian meringue and then adding it to an Italian Ice, granita or sorbet base. It should work, but until I know for sure, just leave it out. Thanks to the Prosecco, it's going to stay soft. The added benefit of the egg white is subtle and it doesn't at all affect flavor. Thanks for raising this concern!
nogaga July 5, 2011
This looks simply delicious!
Thanks nogaga! And now that I'm looking through all the other entries I see we were totally on the same wavelength. I love how your Raspberry Ouzo Slush sounds and looks!!
nogaga July 5, 2011
Thank you! And yes, same totally the wavelegnth ~:)
lapadia July 5, 2011
Love this raspberry color, ChezSuzanne! How does it hold up w/o the egg white?...I fall in the eggless category, so just wondering if you have ever tried it?
lapadia July 5, 2011
oops, I hit the submit button before adding... my regular recipe (the one yo have made) holds up great for however long it lasts w/o. Love the mint addition :)
Thanks lapadia and no worries! On this one, you can leave the egg out. Thanks to the Prosecco, the freezing point is lowered and it will still be soft. The egg white adds a little extra silkiness and almost a hint of creaminess, but doesn't affect taste at all. The egg white trick is especially useful for sorbets without any alcohol. Oh, and the color will actually be even deeper without it.
lapadia July 5, 2011
Thanks ChezSuzanne, Prosecco brings a taste I love; alcohol helps to lower the freezing point (kind of like an antifreeze!), I have always used some form of it in my sorbet/ice creams...for that reason. So, I can’t wait to try Prosecco! But, I have read that technically egg white - a stabilizer, turns sorbet into a creamy sherbert-like dessert. So I am thinking, isn’t it the egg white that helps your recipe to attain a granita-ish consistency? If so, then not using it (egg white) would make a difference - consistency-wise? Wouldn’t it? Sorry, my mind goes OCD sometimes; I am really wondering and look forward to your feedback.
I haven't made this one without it, but I do think you'll lose some of the silkiness and that hint of creaminess. But I was thinking that the alcohol had a role in the texture too. I've just recently started adding the egg white and my sorbets are definitely smoother now, have that hint of creaminess, and they don't seem to melt as fast - although the latter might be my imagination. But your reminder that the egg white is a stabilizer makes me wonder if it helps with that too? I think I'll need to make a mini-batch and leave the egg white out and do a side-by-side comparison for looks, melting and mouthfeel. Now you've got me curious. I'll let you know how it goes!
lapadia July 5, 2011
I love this, ChezSuzanne! Curious minds MUST know and this is what I like about Food52 :). The alcohol doesn’t freeze (we know) giving a smoother, and/or less grainy texture to sorbet or ice cream so it won’t turn into a chunk of ice. Sugar also lowers the freezing point and for a beautiful texture, I found liquid glucose of some sort, such as, corn syrup or coconut nectar…replacing some of the granulated sugar with liquid glucose, as I originally did with the Wild Blackberry recipe posted last year, helped with a nice texture and mouth feel…when you tested it, you used agave with the corn syrup. My recent recipe, posted a couple weeks ago – the Blackberry, Coconut nectar & honey, ended with super silky soft texture that scoops and holds together beautifully, as well, I don’t need to let it sit a few minutes to scoop immediately after taking it out of the freezer…of course a tablespoon of alcohol per pint of puree helps. Finally, I must mention for the heck of it…that acid such as lemon or lime can act as an emulsifier; so bottom line = any ingredient that slows the freezing process will help to achieve a smooth creamy consistency, which explains why the “genius” Strawberry Sorbet posted in the new F52 feature works so beautifully - wouldn’t you think? In the end, we all have fun with our recipes, have fun sharing and eating them!
I'll definitely let you know what I learn from the experiment. And yes, this is one of the many things I love about Food52 too - the curious minds, the amazing breadth of knowledge, the genuine interest in why something works or not, and support network!
drbabs July 5, 2011
Great trick with the egg white!
Thanks drb!
gingerroot July 5, 2011
I love this and can't wait to try the egg white trick.
Thanks gingerroot! It's especially useful when you're making a sorbet without alcohol. The alcohol keeps it soft, but I added the egg white here to add a little more softness to it. It almost gives it a creaminess.
boulangere July 4, 2011
This falls into the "brilliant" category. So, brilliant - in every way!
Wow! Thanks boulangere! I've got your Summer Presents on one of my menus for a house party we're having at the Lake in a few days. I can't wait!
boulangere July 4, 2011
Well, we're even. I've got some raspberries in the fridge and some leftover Prosecco. Enjoy your summer!
Wonderful! I'd love to hear what you think of this if you try it! Including any suggestions you have for it.
And really, one must never let a nice Prosecco go to waste....