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Apr 01, 2019 2:48pm

Julia Usher baking in her home kitchen
Blog Recipes and Tips From Julia Usher

Espresso Granita Parfait

I liken this dessert to tiramisu, but without all of the carbs. Sans the traditional ladyfingers and with the espresso turned into ice, its luscious layers are more “light” and summer-like. I originally wrote this recipe in 2006 for an article on sorbet and granita for my James Beard-nominated column in Sauce magazine, and because it’s so simple and tasty, I haven’t tweaked it since. That said, feel free to play with the strength of your brew and the quantity of sugar in the cream to tune the parfait to your palate.

Yield: About 2 cups granita (or four 1/2-cup servings), plus extra mascarpone cream

Prep Talk: Make and cool the espresso mixture before freezing.


Espresso Granita:

  • 2 cups freshly brewed, very strong espresso or French roast coffee
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest, cut into long, thin strips by hand or with a channel zester (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto, Kahlua, Marsala, or another favorite liqueur (I prefer Marsala, as it’s more traditionally tiramisu-like.)

Mascarpone Cream:

  • 4 ounces mascarpone (aka Italian cream cheese), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Marsala or another liqueur of choice
  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


1 | Prep the espresso granita base. While the espresso is still quite hot, pour it into a small bowl and add the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let the lemon zest steep in the warm syrup for another 30 minutes and then strain the syrup to remove the zest. Stir in your liqueur of choice and then allow the syrup to cool to room temperature, or hasten the cooling process by setting the mixture in the fridge.

2 | Freeze the espresso syrup. No need for fancy equipment here. In fact, you’re better off without it. Once your espresso syrup has cooled to room temperature, pour it into a shallow (15 x 10 x 2-inch) baking pan and place the pan in the freezer. After about 30 minutes, use a fork to gently scrape any frozen syrup off the pan sides. Continue scraping and stirring until the ice flakes are uniformly distributed in the remaining syrup. Repeat this process every 20 to 30 minutes for about 1 to 2 hours, until you’re left with nothing but large, flaky crystals and no liquid. Freezing rates will vary: the deeper the liquid, and the higher the sugar concentration, the longer it takes.

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By nap the tu thanh song kiem on December 04, 2017

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By Julia M Usher on December 11, 2017