So here are the two ingredients that happen to be in my top ten must haves knocking around the kitchen: vanilla and grapefruit. I've just received the most delicious package from one of my absolute favourite people ever, Michelle, who sent me them from a wonderful little vanilla grower in Sri Lanka, and they are simply the most heavenly scented vanilla pods I've come across in an extremely long time. Before they were even opened, the smell was remarkable, and reminds me so much of the island, their people and the simplicity they put towards their existence, I cannot wait to go back. Put this with pink grapefruit, which for a reason I'll go into in good time, I can't seem to get enough of right now, and keeping with simplicity, we'll knock up a little sweet refreshment.
This crystalline sorbet has a blissfully tangy, bittersweet flavour. Buying a whole bottle of Angostura bitters for it might seem extravagant, but think of it as a holiday season investment, because it will last for ages. Use it to re-create proper Champagne cocktails, or add a few drops to a glass of tonic water to make one of the few good grown-up non-alcoholic drinks to offer drivers. It's also quite interesting drizzled over roasted root vegetables, too.
Pink grapefruit and vanilla granita
500ml freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
100g caster sugar
1 fat vanilla pod, split and scraped
2 tsp Angostura bitters
Put a shallow metal tray, such as a scrupulously clean small roasting tin, in the freezer to chill. Whisk the juice, sugar, vanilla seeds and bitters together until the sugar has dissolved.
Throw the scraped vanilla pod into a jar with white sugar and leave to allow the scent to flavour. Use this vanilla sugar in anything from desserts to sweetening your coffee.
Pour the mixture into the cold metal tray and return it to the freezer for 20 minutes before checking. Once ice crystals have started to form around the edges (in my freezer this took 40 mins), gently lift them with a fork into the not so frozen middle part. Return to the freezer.
Repeat the process every 20 minutes until all the mixture is crystallised (allow 1-2 hours). Scrape the crystals into a lidded plastic container and store in the freezer for up to four days. Serve in glass tumblers that have been chilled in the freezer until frosty.