If I’m not mistaken, PG Tips is still the number one tea in England. Apparently, I drank a cup or two while living there during college, but I hardly remember the experience. I wasn’t reintroduced to the tea until I started dating my boyfriend who has a slight obsession with it. His father is British and he grew up drinking the tips. At the time, almost four years ago, you would be very hard pressed to find a box of PG Tips anywhere in California aside from very specific specialty stores. To surprise him for a birthday, I located a source online and ordered a $60 case of the tea. He was thrilled and supplied with all the PG Tips he could drink for at least four months.
PG Tips has since expanded distribution in the U.S. significantly. It started with Whole Foods and recently, I have been able to locate the pyramid shaped tea bags at my local Ralphs. This availability has increased the number of pots of tea we enjoy on weekends as well as given me an opportunity to try cooking with it. I love steeping the tea bags in different concoctions and seeing what I end up with. By far my favorite experiment was a PG Tips ice cream. I steeped tea bags in a mixture of cream and milk and added sugar to taste before freezing the whole thing in my ice cream maker - absolutely delicious and somewhat addictive.
More recently, I’ve been experimenting with granitas. They’re such a simple dessert and on the lighter side of ice cream. A granita is a semi-frozen dessert that is made up of sugar, water and any number of flavorings ranging from coffee and chocolate to pureed fruit. Fruit-based granitas have been my favorite so far and I’m sure as some of the best fruits of spring hit the markets, I will do a post or two on them here. However, this past weekend as I was wondering what to do with a half drunk pot of tea, I decided to try out a granita of PG Tips. I opted not to add any sugar because I love the taste of PG Tips that much and because I’ve been trying to give the waistline a bit of a break lately, but feel free to mix in sugar or any other kind of sweetener you like. Next time I may try out sugar and just a touch of milk so that the granita is just like a frozen cup of tea.
PG Tips Granita
4 cups brewed PG Tips (or more, this is just what I had left over)
Sugar to taste (or any other sweetener you like)
Pour tea mixture into a shallow baking dish or rectangular tupperware dish. Place the mixture in the freezer. Begin checking the dish after about 45 minutes. As soon as little ice sickles and a bit of frozen crust start to form, get out your fork and begin scraping the mixture and breaking apart the frozen pieces. Continue to check the dish every 30 - 45 minutes or so and scrape as necessary to break up the tea to keep it from forming into a frozen block. The end result should be a collection of frozen crystals that can be stirred with a fork or spoon. I served the tea granita alongside some fresh fruit for a very light dessert. It also would be lovely served in glasses as an afternoon refreshment on a warm day – an alternative to a large glass of iced tea.