Cinnamon doesn’t really come to mind as a summertime flavor. It’s mostly a holiday kinda thing . . .except when it’s in an icy form! I dove into my “Nuestras Comidas” Bolivian cookbook to make “Helado de canela.” A bright pink icy/granita kind of treat popular in Bolivia. The Bolivian recipe calls for “airampu” to add a vibrant red color. My local grocers don’t carry this particular ingredient so I made do with one of my “backyard blackberries.” So my rustic version has the same great taste, but a more “au natural” (much) lighter color to it. I think next time I’ll just use a drop or two of red food coloring to make it a little more exciting to the eye. In Bolivia you can find little ladies selling it on the street. The flavor brings back some sweet memories of my visits to Bolivia as a kid.
Nelly De Jordan’s recipe calls for 1 and 1/4 cups of sugar. This is REALLY on the sweet side. I think one cup of sugar would be fine. Also, I used two cinnamon sticks instead of just one, for some extra kick. Another tip, look in the hispanic food section for the cinnamon sticks. Usually on an end cap of an isle or randomly tucked away near the meat department? If you just buy it from the spice isle, you’ll end up paying 6 to 10 dollars. I found a pack of 4 sticks for 1 dollar.
I’ve made this recipe once before and I was once again delightfully surprised at how sweet and refreshing cinnamon can be in its icy form. Enjoy!
- 5 cups of water
- 1 cinnamon stick (I used two)
- 1 and 1/4 cup ground sugar (use 1 for less sweet)
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- red food coloring of your choice
Fill a pot with the 5 cups of water, add the cinnamon stick(s) and bring to a boil. Let it boil until the water becomes tinted by the cinnamon and it’s flavor has steeped into the water and the 5 cups have reduced to 4 cups. About 7 to 10 minutes. Add the sugar and add the cornstarch slurry (the two tablespoons of cold water mixed with the cornstarch.) Let that boil for another 5 minutes. Take the pot off of the heat and set aside to cool. Once the mixture is cooled, poor into a large casserole dish and place in the freezer. After about 1 and a half hours take a fork and mix up slightly frozen bits. Do this a couple of more times until the mixture is frozen throughout.
Until next Monday,