Thursday, March 12, 2009

PG Tips Granita

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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.

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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.

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13 comments:

Cathy said...

What an interesting post. I can imagine this lovely granita is delicious with fruit or some buttery little cookies.

Bridgett said...

I definitely like this granita flavoring. PG tips are big in my house since my hubby is a Brit as well. This granita would be a hit over here. Looks fabulous!

Culinarywannabe said...

Love the idea!! I guess it's similar to all those green tea ice creams that are all over the asian restaurants. They are a bit bitter for me, but my husband loves them. Will have to give this idea a shot!

Maria said...

Wow, great post! I love granita!

savour-fare.com said...

I really love PG Tips. So much that I bought 4 boxes of them on Amazon (such a steal! $14 as opposed to $8 per box). It's pretty strong though - is this Granita bitter at all?

Mary said...

As a lover of granita, I really appreciated this post. I have a new item on my shopping list. Thanks.

Holler said...

I really don't like tea, so this isn't for me, but I still really enjoyed the post and the photos are great :)

Michele said...

You picked the best tea possible taste wise for your granita. I've been drinking PG Tips my whole life. My Gran used to make me milk tea as a child. So my addiction started very early. Nothing else compares for me. Luckily I live in a location that is mostly British and Irish, so PG Tips is available at our local markets.

Apples and Butter said...

Culinary Wanna Be - If green tea ice cream is too bitter for you, this definitely will be too! Make sure you add some milk and sugar before freezing!

Savour Fare - great tip! I will check out Amazon. I think I got a pretty good deal when I ordered the case online. Also, Indian markets in my area sell it at a good price. It is a little bitter so make sure you add some sugar if that's a concern.

Holler - a UK resident who doesn't like tea? I'm amazed!! I thought it was a requirement of citizenship :)

Holler said...

I don't like coffee either, but I know what you mean, I am very uncommon in my hatred of tea. Graham doesn't like it either, so you are more likely to be offered fruit cordial, water or wine, in our house :)

Pam said...

I've never made granita but I love it. Great recipe.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Oh lord YUM! I adore PG Tips. I have to get my boyfriend to bring back the loose tea from England when he goes. What a wonderful idea!

Rebecca said...

This looks so good! I wanted to find a recipe for a tea based dessert and came accross your site!

Next time you want PG tips give me a shout and I can send you some from London, I think even with the shipping it iwll be cheaper! Sounds like its quite pricey in the US!