pineapple granita with chilli & salt recipe

Have you ever had a moment where you're in the doctor’s waiting room, flicking through a magazine and a recipe catches your eye? You rummage through your bag, frantically trying to find that pen you were sure you had in there, and that old envelope that's perfect in situations like these. You write at top speed, carefully copying out the main points in the recipe… only to be called up by the doctor when you are mere moments away from finishing. (Alanis Morissette's "Ironic", playing over in your head).

I have. Many times over. Actually everywhere I go, for as long as I remember I have always copied out recipes. I find them in; magazines, friend’s cookbooks, and even off the back of cereal packets, (which reminds me there was a really nice looking banana loaf recipe I’m still yet to try, copied off the back of a soy milk carton years ago).

I have somewhat of an addiction. A recipe addiction. When I moved out of home I copied a few of mums staple recipes out into a notebook. As I started working as a chef and throughout my training, recipes were added to this. When I moved to Sydney as a 19 year old, it was one of my most treasured possession, and has since made many trips back and forth over the Tasman Sea. As that notebook filled, another was started. I now have 5 near-full A4 notebooks that contain some of my most treasured recipes. Many are recipes that I have made at restaurants, cafes and catering companies both here in New Zealand and in Australia, many are recipes I have copied out and always meant to try, and some are recipes from friends and family. If we were suddenly evacuated from our house, it would be these along with my precious photo albums that would be grabbed as I ran out the door, along with the kids and Si, of course.

The recipe I am sharing today, I found while reading through a NZ house and garden magazine at our local sushi shop. I scrawled it down frantically while the kids were eating their lunch. Here I’ve used palm sugar in place of the caster sugar in the original recipe, which gives it a lovely caramel sweetness, and compliments the tropical flavours of the pineapple and lime. If you are unsure about the addition of chilli and salt, please be brave. It is only with these toppings that this reasonably plain granita is transformed it to something really, really special. There's the sweetness, playing off from the salty, all finished off by a lovely little punch of heat from the chilli. Perfect.

pineapple granita with chilli & salt recipe
Once made, this granita will happily keep for up to 2 weeks in the freezer. Find palm sugar at your local Asian supermarket. Make sure it's 100%. Makes approx. 2 litres.

  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (80g) pure palm sugar, grated
  • 1 cup (250ml) filtered water 
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • chilli flakes and fine grain sea salt to serve

Place sugar and water into a small pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Until syrupy. Remove from the heat and cool. Place pineapple into a blender with the cooled syrup and lime juice, puree until smooth. Pour into a shallow container and freeze for 1 hour. Using a fork, scrape the ice from the edges, back into the middle. Return to the freezer and repeat every hour until the mixture looks like crushed ice (3-4 times should be enough). Keep frozen until ready to serve.
Serve granita in small dishes sprinkled with a little crushed chilli and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Recipe adapted from one found in the New Zealand House and Garden magazine.

This recipe has been linked to: Seasonal Sunday @ Real Sustenance 

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  • Reply
    Leigh @ Toasted
    February 8, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Just a thought – have you tried taking a photo of the recipes you find. Not as nice as handwritten I know, but quicker.

  • Reply
    the good soup
    February 8, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Hi Emm, it's my pleasure to tell you that you've just received a Stylish Blogger Award! From me! Check my post for details:
    Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
    Cheers, Angela

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Thanks for that great idea Leigh! Now I just need a little camera to carry with me at all times… or a better phone camera 🙂 I do a lot of photocoping these days too, so much faster!

    Thanks for the award Angela, it means a lot to me that people are enjoying what I'm doing. I'll check it out when I get a spare sec, not too many of them going at the mo…

  • Reply
    your brother
    February 8, 2011 at 7:51 am

    that was really yum and a really original flavour combination Em.
    and yeh, it would be nothing without the unconventional salty sweet chilli combination…

  • Reply
    February 9, 2011 at 4:14 am

    yum i remeba havin that at ur house, sooo yum!!!
    tastes just like a pinapple fruju

  • Reply
    heather jacobsen
    February 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    i love the idea of the chili with the pineapple I am so going to try this. What do you like to serve your granita with?

  • Reply
    February 20, 2011 at 8:36 am

    We just eat it, as is. But I could imagine it would be lovely with grilled pineapple or coconut icecream.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I am a compulsive "recipe copier" myself so that has happened to me soooo many times. Your granita looks so refreshing. I love that you've added the chili kick to it. yum!

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