Here is a sweet-tart-cool-crisp and incredibly refreshing dessert for the July 4 holiday weekend. It works perfectly to close out your barbecue and perfectly after a day outside frollicking in the sun when you need a quick cool down. I love it because it's not too sweet, and almost all the sweetness comes from the natural sugars in your watermelon. Make sure to get a really ripe and beautiful seedless one and it'll be perfect. This is the last week or so you can make this in most regions, rhubarb won't be around much longer.
Here's the recipe and have a wonderful and Happy 4th of July!
* seedless watermelon is really a misnomer. It does have seeds but they're small, soft and undeveloped. Easily ground or discarded.
2.5 lbs. small fresh seedless watermelon* (1 very small or 1/2 average sized), peeled and cut into chunks
3 large stalks rhubarb, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. Pernod or anise liquor
Maldon Sea Salt to garnish
1. Using a vegetable juicer if possible, or a blender, juice the rhubarb and watermelon. Skim off any bitter light-green froth and discard. Taste as you go along, adding more of either to suit your preference. My ratio was nearly 1:1 and it was perfect for me. It should yield about 4 cups of mixed juice, not much more.
2. In a small saucepan on low heat dissolve the sugar in the water to make a simple syrup. Stir in the Pernod, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. Pour the syrup into the juice and stir thoroughly. Pour it all into a freezer-safe 9"x13" pan so that the juice is just a thin layer. Put dish into the freezer.
4. Every 20-30 minutes, reach into the freezer with a regular kitchen fork and scrape or "rake" the granita, creating granules of ice. Let the granita freeze for about 3-4 hours or until slushy but still quite firm, raking at the given intervals.
5. Serve in pretty glasses and garnish with a few flakes of Maldon sea salt. Trust me, this is INCREDIBLE and the final result isn't the same without it. Watermelon and minerally sea salt work extremely well together. Another acceptable substitute is Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt.