Cucumber Ice With Dr. Pepper Reduction

I borrowed this recipe straight from Janina Oleary, pasty chef at TRACE restaurant at the W Austin. A granita, or water ice, is simply a mix of flavored water and sugar that is not allowed to freeze completely solid, with the texture of a grainy slush. It was so incredibly refreshing in the 90-degree heat with full-on humidity that I plan on making it all summer. Once the heat spikes in New York, you'll be happy this recipe is here.

We topped the ice with a Dr. Pepper reduction, of all things Texan, as well as berries freshly picked by TRACE forager Valerie Broussard and a little fresh cilantro for a grassy, herbal flavor that really compliments the mulberries. You can use blackberries, raspberries or any other season berry worthy of this presentation.

Cucumber Ice With Dr. Pepper Reduction
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  • 3 cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup seltzer
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper
  • 1 cup seasonal berries
  • finely chopped cilantro
  1. Peel cucumber and puree in juicer.
  2. Mix the cucumber juice with the rest of ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk.
  3. Freeze in bowl or plastic container. Scrape with fork every 30 minutes until desired texture.
  4. Pour Dr. Pepper into a small pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour until syrupy.
  6. Fill a mason jar or bowl with alternating layers of granita and berries.
  7. Top generously with Dr. Pepper reduction and garnish with a light sprinkle of cilantro.
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