What's to be done with our vast, crazy surplus of plums? The idea of jam seemed an affront to our beautiful, sweet, fresh fruit, and we don't have an ice cream maker for sorbet, so my neighbor and I started looking at granita recipes. As we surfed the net, I came up with the perfect idea: plum vodka granita! Here's my recipe:
1) Peel and pit enough sweet, juicy plums until you have about a quart's worth of fruit and juice. I used sixteen of our Shiro plums. Put the plums and juice into a blender and puree.
2) Blend in 1/2 c. vodka, or to taste.
3) Blend in simple syrup to taste. I used a simple syrup made from 2/3 c. water and 2/3 c. sugar, but a lot will depend on the sugar content of your plums.
4) Pour your plum/vodka/simple syrup mixture into a 9x13 baking tray and put it into the freezer.
5) After 45 min. to an hour, when the mixture has started to freeze, take a fork to mash it up and mix it around. Do this about every thirty minutes for the next 3-4 hours, until the granita seems as firm as it's going to get. If you want to see the basic technique, click on this watermelon granita link for a Youtube video tutorial.
6) Serve and savor!
If your plums aren't all that juicy, you might try a mixture of plum puree and white grape juice. The granita would probably also taste delicious if you used ginger simple syrup. I'll have to try that variation next time.
Note (added 8/24): When you serve, it doesn't hurt to pour a little extra vodka on top!