Serves 4 or 8 as a tasting plate
*Use 16 heaping teaspoons of coffee and 2½ cups of water and let settle before pouring the coffee from the grains. Measure 2⅓ cups and proceed.
Stir the sugar into the hot coffee until it completely dissolves and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, place a shallow baking sheet big enough to contain the coffee in the freezer. Once the coffee is cold, pour it into the baking sheet.
Freeze until half frozen (about 2–2½ hours), then stir with a fork and freeze for another 1–2 hours until just frozen. Stir once more with a fork, breaking the mixture into small, even-sized ice crystals. Once ready to serve, remove the baking sheet from the freezer and leave for 20 minutes before breaking into small ice crystals with a fork as above.
Pour the condensed milk into the bottom of each glass or bowl and top with granita. Serve immediately.
Variation: You can add depth of flavor by infusing the coffee with some crushed cardamom pods (I’d add about 10)—let them infuse while the coffee cools then pass through a strainer. Spooning some softly whipped cream over the top at the end is naughty but nice!
Excerpted from Smashing Plates by Maria Elia, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Jenny Zarins.