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Meyer Lemon Granita with Braised Blueberries and Bay Leaf Ice Cream



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2 pt. fresh blueberries
3 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out
4 bay leaves, divided
1 lime, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
2 1/4 cup water, divided
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 ea. saffron threads
1 qt. meyer lemon juice
1 qt. whole milk
7 oz. heavy cream
3 oz. milk powder


  1. 1
    For Braised Blueberries: in a medium sized pan, combine blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla bean and seeds,1 bay leaf, lime slices, and cinnamon stick. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes to let the flavor infuse, but do not let the berries break. (If mixture looks dry, add a small amount of water.) Mix 1 tbsp. water and cornstarch, add to berries, whisk gently, bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and cool. Remove herbs and spices.
  2. 2
    For Meyer Lemon Granita: in a saucepan, over medium-high heat, make a simple syrup with 2 cups sugar, 2 cups water and saffron. Remove from heat, cool until consistency is syrupy. Gradually add syrup to lemon juice until it is sweetened but still quite tart. Pour into a shallow pan and place in a freezer, scrape with a fork every hour for 3 hours until consistency is slushy.
  3. 3
    For Bay Leaf Ice Cream: in a saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring milk, cream, 3/4 cup sugar, and milk powder to a boil; remove from heat and add remaining bay leaves. Cover pan and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain, allow to cool, then chill; turn in ice cream machine as directed by manufacturer.
  4. 4
    Serving: spoon braised blueberries into a small serving bowl; place the bowl on a rectangular service plate. Place a cookie on the plate and top it with a scoop each of granita and ice cream.


Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza, Sona, Los Angeles

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