Thai Tea Snow Cones
Serves 10, generously
From Cristina Sciarra
Restaurant Thai tea is usually brewed from a prepackaged mix of tea leaves, spices, and food coloring. This version, composed of ice instead of simply chilled by it, is more refreshing than sticky-sweet, with a strong tea taste and a list of spices you can customize (add vanilla; leave out the star anise; toss in a cinnamon stick!). For a nod to the original, spoon condensed milk over the top: It will pool in creamy pockets among the crunchy granita.
1 cup sugar
5 bags Ceylon orange pekoe tea
2 star anise pods
2 green cardamom pods, crushed
2 teaspoons orange blossom water
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1. In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups (1.9L) water to a boil over high heat. When it’s simmering, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Once the water returns to a boil, remove from the heat. Add the tea bags, star anise, cardamom, cloves, and orange blossom water. Let steep for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the tea bags and the aromatics. Refrigerate the tea until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
2. Pour the chilled tea into a wide casserole dish or baking pan. Freeze for 4 to 5 hours, scraping with a fork every hour or so, particularly around the edges, so the granita is broken into icy shards. (The granita will keep in the freezer for a couple weeks.)
3. When you’re ready to serve, spoon some granita into glasses and drizzle 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk over the top of each.
Reprinted with permission from Food52 Ice Cream & Friends: 60 Recipes & Riffs by the Editors of Food52, copyright © 2017
Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photography credit: James Ransom © 2017