I’ve been eyeballing the Cinnamon Toast on the Tyrian menu for a long time, never too sure what to make of it – is it boring? Yummy? Do I want to eat one? Turn it into french toast? Does it have to be toast…? Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere~! Luckily I had a couple of sheets of filo pastry leftover from dinner the night before when I, once again, brushed past the Cinnamon Toast recipe in the list.
It was one of those days, not truly summer’y anymore but not really autumn’y yet either – a day screaming for a Hot & Cold contrast combo on your plate. With the plans for the „Hot“ Cinnamon Filo Crisps already taking shape, I skimmed the Tyrian menu again, looking for something to cover the role of the „Cold“. When I stumbled across one of the compotes, thinking a real compote would take the whole dish too far into autumn territory, it hit me. Granitas! Kind of the summery sister to a compote, a Granita is basically shaved ice, one shot of rum short of a frozen daiquiri. The possible variations of these are bordering the far end of Buzz Lightyear’s limits, so for today I’m just going to limit myself to the two granitas I combined along the lines of the original Tyrian Raspberry and Peach Compote that compelled me to go down this road in the first place.
First order of business, the…
…without the toast~
The Cinnamon Crisps
8 Sheets of Filo Pastry
2 Tbsp unsalted Butter, melted and cooled down to room temperature
Cinnamon and Brown Sugar – as much as you like
This one is fairly simple – and as usual, sometimes simple is best~!
1) Carefully place the first sheet of pastry on your work surface and brush out the wrinkles.
2) Brush the entire surface, rims and all, with some of the molten butter, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar and bring together two of the corners, folding it up diagonally into a large triangle by doing so.
3) Make sure the rims are alligned as evenly as possible – in case your pastry doesn’t come in squares, trim off the overlapping rims in order to prevent them from burning up in the pan later.
4) Once the pastry is folded up, gently brush it with the palms of your hand to evenly distribute the butter-sugar-cinnamon filling inside.
5) Brush the surface with butter again and add another layer of cinnamon and sugar.
6) Fold the pastry up into a smaller triangle and repeat the process once more.
7) Once you’re through with the last round, set the pastry onto a plate lined with baking parchement, cover the plate with clingfilm to keep the pastry from drying out and treat the remaining pastry sheets the same way.
8) As soon as you’re done with the last sheet, set a heavy-based pan onto medium heat and brush the surface with a hint of butter once it’s all heated up.
9) Add the pastry triangles. 2 or 3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan, and let them crisp up and take on color for around 3-4 min on each side.
10) To be on the safe side, as the delicate pastry is rather prone to burn up as soon as you dare to blink, keep turning the triangles over every minute or so until you’re satisfied with their color.
11) Place them on a cooling rack or pop them into your oven, preheated to 40°C, to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve.
Moving on to the granitas! For this one, I combined two different granitas for the pretty color swirls – both are yumtastic on their own though, so you could mix and match the way you like best. That’s also why I’m providing you with a larger amount of them, stock-size, if you will. Reduce the amounts to fit your needs.
So, this Tyrian recipe…
…translates into a summery, layered granita this time around~! Here’s part #1:
The Rosemary Peach Granita
50g Light Muscovado Sugar
125ml plain Tap Water
1 Sprig of Rosemary
100ml Dry White Wine or White Port
1) Heat 125ml plain tap water in a small pot set on medium heat.
2) Add the sugar and stir until it’s completely dissolved. Send the rosemary sprigs swimming in the liquid once the sugar has dissolved.
3) Leave the mixture to simmer and reduce down to a syrupy liquid.
4) Set the pot aside and let the syrup cool down to room temperature.
5) Set a pot large enough to hold the peaches onto high heat, fill it up with water and bring it to a boil.
6) Run the tip of a sharp knife cross-wise across the tops of the peaches, just breaking the skins rather than cutting deeper into the fruit – this will make it easier to peel them without wasting bits and pieces of the delicious interior.
7) Keep a large bowl or pot filled with cold water nearby for the next step.
8) Pop the peaches into the pot once the water is boiling and blanch them for about 10 seconds.
9) Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and move them into the cold water to stop the cooking process.
10) The cuts you’ve made will give the skins of the peaches the chance to shrink in on themselves after the shock therapy you’ve just given them – which, in return, gives you the opportunity to easily grab the skins and pull them off.
11) After you’ve peeled them all, pat them dry with a paper towel, cut them in halves and remove the pits before cubing them.
12) Dip one of the cubes into the syrup and have a taste. At this point you’re going to have to decide for yourself whether you like the rosemary aroma with the peaches as it is or if you’d like to turn it up a notch. I usually take the rosemary all the way, but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
13) If you decide to ditch the rosemary, remove the sprigs from the syrup and discard them. If you’re doing it my way, pick the needles off of the sprigs and finely chop them before having them join the peach cubes.
14) Place the peach cubes, the syrup, the wine and, if you’re using it, the rosemary in your blender jug and blitz everything into a fine purée.
15) Pour the puree into a wide, freezer-proof container and pop it into the freezer for an hour.
16) Here comes the… somewhat annoying bit. You’re going to be freezing the lot for 7 hours, all in all, breaking it up by dragging a fork through the slowly freezing liquid every hour for medium sized delicious snowflakes, every 30 minutes for smaller ones. I usually go with the 30-min-method for most of the freezing period, occasionally leaving an hour in between when I notice the flakes getting too small for my taste.
The Raspberry Granita
50g Light Muscovado Sugar
125ml plain Tap Water
5 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Honey
Opt: 2 leafy Sprigs of Vervein – If you’re going with the rosemary in the peach granita, leave the verveine out of this one. If you get the chance, and your hands on fresh verveine for that matter, try this one out the next time! This combination of berries & herbs is absolutely divine!
1) As with the peach granita, start by heating the water in a small pot set on medium heat.
2) Add the sugar and keep stirrin until it’s completely dissolved.
3) Pour in the lemon juice and stir in the honey, until that, too, has dissolved.
4) Pop in the vervein leaves and leave the mixture to simmer until it’s reduced into a syrupy consistency.
5) Add the berries while the syrup is still hot and give them a good stir with a whisk to break them up.
6) Move the mixture to a blender jug and thoroughly whizz it into a fine purée.
7) Place a fine sieve on top of a shallow, wide and freezer-proof container and strain the purée into it with the help of a rubber spatula – skip this step if you don’t mind the occasional seedy survivor of the blender treatment.
8) Once the mixture is safely settled in the container, proceed with the freezing-and-forking routine, just like you did with the peach granita – 6-7 hours of freezing with a stirring break every 30 mins.
Assembling the Dish
1) Arrange the crisps on a platter.
2) Spoon the granitas into serving bowls or pretty glasses, alternating them for a pretty visual and decorate them with fruit slices, mint or lemon balm leaves and dig in before the granitas melt~!
Just on a side note, granitas don’t just provide a convenient starting point for the aforementioned daiquiris, they’re also a superb topping for fruit salads, but due to the flakey consistency they melt quickly. If you’re serving them on fruit make sure you chill the fruit before topping them with the granita. Or just serve them as a slushy if it’s too hot outside or indulge in a quick spoonful fresh out of the freezer when nobody’s watching.