Growing up in an Asian family, most banquets or special occasion meals finished with a big platter of fruit. I’ve spruced things up a bit by adding a cleansing granita to the equation. Watermelon and cinnamon are surprisingly good together – the melon is herbaceous and fresh while the cinnamon adds a delicate warmth.
- ½ seedless watermelon
- lemon wedges, to garnish
- 125 ml (½ cup) water
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp strained lemon juice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 1 hour
Freezing time 5 hours
Place a shallow metal tray in the freezer.
To make the granita syrup, place the water, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and stand until cool. Remove the cinnamon stick, then stir in the lemon juice.
Cut the watermelon in half and scoop the flesh from the less attractive half. Cover the remaining watermelon with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Blend the flesh in food processor or blender and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the granita syrup, then refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Pour the watermelon mixture into the tray in the freezer and freeze for about 5 hours, scraping the granita with a fork every couple of hours until well frozen, fluffy and flaky.
When the granita is frozen, place a large serving platter in the freezer until it is very cold. Slice the remaining watermelon into wedges and arrange on the platter with a few lemon wedges. Scrape the granita one final time and spoon it all over the cold watermelon. Serve immediately.
• This is also a perfect dish for a summer barbecue. Chilling the plate and watermelon before adding the granita and it will stop it from melting too quickly. It doesn't really matter though; bring this dish out with a handful of spoons and it will be all gone before the granita has a chance to melt anyway.
Destination Flavour Christmas airs Friday December 16 at 4.30pm on SBS