09 November 2010

Raspado de Sandia y Frambuesa (Watermelon-Raspberry Ice)

I wanted a light fresh dessert for my Mexican Fiesta.  And who to turn to but Rick Bayless, the best purveyor of Mexican delights on the planet, well I think so anyway. I recently got his latest cookbook Fiesta at Rick's hence finding it hard to move on from my Mexican phase.  It is full of recipes for hanging out and relaxing with friends and family fiesta style...perfect for the Kiwi Spring and Summer with all that al fresco dining.  There are even song suggestions for an authentic fiesta atmosphere.  

In addition to all the delicious recipes some very tempting cocktails.  I have become quite a fan of the champagne margarita, a fabulous little tipple to get the party started. Though be careful this one can be pretty potent and you wouldn't want the party to be over before it had started.

Would be most remiss not to share this one.

Champagne Margarita


Makes 8-12 

The finely grated zest (colored rind only) from 1 lime
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup Cointreau
1 cup silver tequila 
Superfine sugar, if needed for added sweetness
1 lime, cut in half, for serving
Coarse (Kosher) salt, for serving
1 bottle Champagne or other sparkling wine


In a pitcher, combine the lime zest, lime juice, Cointreau, tequila and sugar if you are using it.  Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour). 
Just before serving, strain the mixture to remove the zest, and pour enough salt into a saucer to cover the bottom.  Rub a lime half over the rim of each champagne glass and upend into the salt to crust it lightly.  Pour about 3 ounces of the tequila mixture into each glass, fill the rest of the way with Champagne or sparkling wine and hand to one of your lucky guests.

If you want to throw a full on fiesta there is no need to look any further as there are not only recipes but also a complete guide of everything to do to ensure a successful fiesta... a Mexican Mole Fiesta for 24 or a Seafood Cocktail Party for 12 are just a couple.

Back to dessert and this appealed...watermelon, raspberries, pomegranate and a hit of lime and fresh mint.  Fresh and not too sweet with a little zing from the lime and the most incredible colour. Even better it can be made ahead of time allowing you to enjoy the fiesta.

Watermelon-Raspberry Ice Raspado de Sandia y Frambuesa


Serves 8-12

7-8 pounds seedless watermelon
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup fresh raspberries (I used frozen and they worked really well)
Leaves from a few sprigs of mint
2 large limes (or enough to make 1/4 cup fresh lime juice)
1 cup sugar


Quarter the watermelon, then cut the flesh from the rind and cut the flesh into 1-inch pieces; you should have about 8 cups (3 pounds). 
In batches, scoop the watermelon into a blender along with some of the pomegranate juice, raspberries and mint, process to a smooth puree and pour into a large bowl.  Be sure not to overfill the food processor like I did...raspado all over the bench.  Add the lime juice and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Taste for sweet-tart balance, adding more lime or sugar if you think necessary.

Pour the mixture into 9 x 13-inch pan (a metal one works best) and set in the freezer. After 45 minutes, thoroughly stir the mixture, breaking up the large crystals that have formed. Return to the freezer for another 15 minutes, then stir it again.  Repeat the freezing-stirring process every 15 minutes until you have a panful of large, fluffy crystals.  (The whole process takes about 2 hours.) 
Scrape the finished raspado into a freezer container, cover and freeze until you are ready to serve. Just take it out 5-10 minutes before serving.

A lovely refreshing way to finish off a meal and such a beautiful pink colour.  I used half a cup of sugar as I wanted a fresh zingy dessert and it paid off, full of raspberry flavour but the watermelon coming through.  The mint and lime keep it fresh. I can see this being a regular feature over summer especially as it can be made ahead of time and whipped out when needed.

Enjoy or as they would say in Mexico Buen provecho!


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