When I tore the recipe for this Ginger Shave Ice and Apricots from the pages of Sunset Magazine, it was with a little frustration. The recipe was published in their May issue, which actually arrives in my mailbox in April, which means apricots wouldn’t show up in our markets for at least three months. Happily, I finally unearthed the scrap of paper from my “file” and followed its instructions this week.
Could a water-based dessert actually satisfy my sweet tooth? As it turns out, yes, as long as it’s balanced by some fruit and a little sweetened condensed milk. This dish is essentially a granita, posing as the Hawaii’s shave ice. It takes a little prep work a few hours ahead, but the whole process is dead simple. You make a ginger syrup, freeze most of it, scrape it up, scrape it up again, and serve it with some fruit you’ve soaked in a little syrup. Oh, and pour some sweetened condensed milk out of a can. Not difficult.
Michael and I surprised ourselves with our zeal for this dessert. The shave ice didn’t taste like watery chunks with a little drop of flavor here and there–it was holy crap zingy. The tangy fruit and sweet hot ice (weird, right?) would almost be overwhelming, but the sweetened condensed milk saves the day by taming the flavors. Prepare this for a warm evening and you won’t be sorry.
P.S. I love Sunset, but I do wish they’d go further with the seasonal thing. And while I’m on my wishing soapbox, I wish their (and other magazines’) recipes and meal plans included more vegetable-focused fare. Not necessarily vegetarian food, but dishes and meals that revolve around the vegetables with meat as an aside. I’m done now.
Ginger Shave Ice and Apricots (lightly adapted from Sunset)
Yield: 4 servings
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh unpeeled ginger (maybe 1/3 cup if you don’t want too much ginger heat)
4 apricots, sliced vertically
1/3 – 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
In a small saucepan, bring 1-1/2 cups water, the sugar, and the salt to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat.
Pulse the ginger in a food processor fitted with the standard blade until it is minced. Add 3/4 cup water and process it for 1 minute. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, squeezing the pulp to extract all the juice. Discard the pulp. Stir the ginger liquid into the syrup and set 1/2 cup of the ginger syrup aside. Pour the rest into a 9″ x 13″ pan and let it cool to around room temperature.
Freeze the pan until the ginger syrup is slushy around the edges and stir it with a fork to break up any clumps, then freeze it until solid, at least 3 hours.
Meanwhile, put the sliced apricots in a container with the reserved 1/2 cup of syrup and refrigerate for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally.
Rake the frozen syrup with a fork to make fluffy ice and scoop it into 4 serving dishes. Drizzle a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk over each serving and arrange a few slices of apricots (drained of their liquid) in each dish.