Bad blogger and a recipe for mulberry granita

Well, I’ve been a very bad blogger recently, haven’t I?  In my defence, the past month has been a bit chaotic.   A few weeks ago I did something horrible to my back and I’ve had trouble walking, cooking and sitting at my desk – more or less pre-requisites for keeping this blog ship shape.

By terrible coincidence, my Uparwali Chai partner, Laura also slipped three disks and has been flat on her back for a month. As we were both hobbling around like a couple of old codgers, we had to cancel a tea party –  and as the weather is now getting a bit hot (it reached 40 degrees today) for any outdoor activity that doesn’t involve jumping in a pool I’m not sure when the next one will be.

I knew things were starting to look up, though, when my fruit and veg man delivered a basket of mulberries last week and I  suddenly felt up to a bit of kitchen play.  I love the very brief mulberry season:  so sweet, voluptuous and indulgent  yet perfectly democratic – the trees grow everywhere here – a quick shake of the trunk and you’ve got a glut on your hands.  They have to be eaten quickly and locally – this is one fruit we’re never going to see in supermarkets in London – before they start to fall apart and ferment.

After I’d gorged on the softly fragrant berries, I made some fluffy buttermilk pancakes which will appear in next weekend’s Mint column.  I still had loads left so I decided to make a simple granita for friends coming over for supper. It turned out to be a triumph, with  a little lemon juice to counterbalance the intense sweetness of the berries. Removing all the stalks is a pain – but worth it – if only for the intense colour, and the fact that you could still be savouring mulberries long after the season has been and gone.

Mulberry Granita

500g mulberries, stalks removed

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

juice of 1/2 lemon (nimbu)

Gently heat the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Add the mulberries and cook for a couple of minutes. Press the fruit through a fine metal sieve to remove the the seeds.

Pour the mulberry liquid into a shallow plastic tub and put it in the freezer. Every hour or so, take out the tub and rough the granita up a bit with a fork. Do this a few times, until it is completely frozen.

Well, I seem to have got my va va voom back – no more excuses now!