Ahh, sweet tea. It might just be the only thing you know about the South. Well, maybe you’ve heard we make great fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and maybe you’re even smart enough to know what CFS stands for. But sweet tea is the real thing we’re famous for. It’s the house wine of the South. We go through gallons of it year ’round.

I grew up with lemon slices in sweet tea, but since Mr. Dessert For Two grew up in Georgia, peach sweet tea is more familiar to him. Since we try to make this Texas/Georgia hybrid relationship work in California, I’m giving you the option for a lemon cream topping or a peach cream topping. Such a delicious compromise.


Southern Sweet Tea Granita

Southern Sweet Tea Granita

Makes ~ 3/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup sugar + 1/2 teaspoon
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of lemon zest -or- 1 teaspoon peach syrup*

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan or microwave, heat 1 cup of the water to a brisk simmer. Turn off the heat, add the tea bags, then cover and steep for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 1/3 cup of the sugar vigorously into the remaining 1 cup of cool water. (Preventing the sugar from coming in contact with super hot water keeps your tea from having a bitter taste). Once 10 minutes has elapsed, remove the tea bags (squeeze them gently), then pour the mixture over the sugar-water mixture, stirring to combine. Pour the entire thing into a shallow pan (I used an 8x8” square baking dish), and place it in the freezer. Freeze for 1 hour, then scrape the entire mixture with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Return to the freezer for another hour or two, or until it freezes almost solid.
  2. Meanwhile, beat together the heavy cream, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar and lemon zest. If you're making the peach cream, omit the 1/2 teaspon of sugar and beat in the peach syrup. Once soft peaks form, store it in the fridge until ready to serve.
  3. To serve the granita, scrape it again with a fork into serving dishes and top it with the whipped cream.

Notes

*The peach syrup I'm referring to is the flavored syrup used for making coffee and tea drinks at cafes. I love the Monin brand. If you can't find it, use peach nectar or extract.