I have what may be one of the West Coast's premiere Ice Creameries within two blocks of my apartment. It is fittingly called, Ici, meaning "here" in French. And with a constant line out the door and down the block, I am not the only one who wants to be there. A friend who was new to the neighborhood asked once, "What's the story with that club on the corner of College and Ashby?" Club? I asked? Oh! You mean the delicious ice cream store! My friend simply could not believe that ice cream could cause such a fuss. Obviously she hadn't tried the Meyer Lemon, the Pepita Toffee Brittle, or the Apple Cider Sorbet.
Sometimes I have trouble experimenting in the kitchen. I generally know what I like, and if I'm trying something new I like to stick carefully to every small instruction and detail. Not so with this riff off of Apple Cider Ice Pops from Bon Appetit Magazine. In my efforts to re-create something similar to the deliciousness that is the Apple Cider Sorbet at Ici, this is what I came up with...
Apple Cider Granita-Inspired by Bon Appetit Magazine
4 cups apple juice or cider
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown)
1 cinnamon stick
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (this isn't necessary, but it did give a kick at the end which I liked)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the first five ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and stir the sugar until dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes until the mixture is reduced by about a cup or more. Strain and cool. When cooled, stir in the vinegar and vanilla. Carefully pour the mixture into a jelly roll pan, about 13x9. Set in the freezer to freeze. After half an hour in the freezer, scrape the frozen mixture with a fork, carefully breaking the mixture up so that it doesn't freeze in a block. You want small crystals and shavings. Put it back in the freezer for another 20-30 minutes and then scrape it down with a fork again. Once all the liquid has been frozen and the mixture consists of just ice crystals, it is ready to serve. Especially delicious with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. Enjoy!