Sea Buckthorn and Aperol Spritz Granita – serves 4
This bittersweet granita is a perfect summer cooler.
• 180ml Sea Buckthorn sauce
• 700ml Prosecco
• 100ml Aperol
First make the Sea Buckthorn sauce. – Foraging notes are below or alternatively you can buy Sea Buckthorn juice online.
Sea Buckthorn sauce – makes approximately 180ml
• 125g Sea Buckthorn berries
• 1tsp maple syrup or sugar syrup
• 120g sugar
Put the berries in to a small pan with a teaspoonful of maple syrup or sugar syrup, cook gently for half an hour until the berries are very soft and pulpy. Press the fruit through a sieve into a clean pan, pushing as much of the pulp through as possible, add sugar and heat stirring. Simmer for 5 minutes then cool, cover and store in the fridge.
Now to make the granita, combine all the ingredients in a freezer proof box, stir well and freeze until it is starting to crystalize. Every 2 hours give it a stir until it contains large shards of granita. Store in the freezer until you are ready to serve – almond biscotti make a great accompaniment.
Foraging notes: Sea Buckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides
A native deciduous shrub that grows to 3m, it can form dense thickets. Sea Buckthorn leaves are narrow and pointed – approximately 5cm long. The underneath of the leaf is covered with silvery hairs making it look quite pale, the upper side has fewer but still the effect is a silvery grey/green. Young stems are a bit like a willow but older wood has sharp thorns. Flowers open in spring but are not really noticeable. The berries are green through the summer ripening to a bright orange in September. The round berries are approximately 6mm across and occur clustered along the branches.
Where to find Sea Buckthorn. You will find it growing along sandy shores on the East coast. It has also been planted for stabilising roadside verges and sea defences all around the British coast. The berries are ripening now and will be good to eat right through to winter in some places. These berries freeze very well for use year round.