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Get on your mother-in-law's good side with Timothy Lacey's applejack granita

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More extra's from today's cover story on bartenders' homemade holiday treats:

post and photo by guest blogger Seanan Forbes

Timothy Lacey, master bartender of the Drawing Room and his wife, Lisa, make plenty of holiday foods and gifts: jams, extracts, ice creams, pies and more.

"We cook way too much food," Lacey admits. "My mother, when I was a kid, would start making Christmas cookies in September, and freeze them. We'd be eating them until March. Going overboard is in our blood."

So is adapting to the needs of guests and friends. One of Lacey's desserts was apple cider ice cream. "My mother-in-law has lactose issues, so we had to do something without dairy," he says.

Thus was born a tradition. "I wanted to do this apple cider granita," Lacey recalls. "I was trying to figure out how to keep it from freezing solid."

Taking advantage of having tight connections with a few of Chicago's best pastry chefs, he sent out an e-mail: "Here's what I'm trying to do. How do I do it?"

Toni Roberts, pastry chef of C-House emailed back. "She suggested adding some vodka to it, to keep it from freezing." Lacey's bartending instincts kicked in. "I decided that applejack would complement the flavors better."

For the main ingredient, he looked to Seedling Fruit. "They've got some great varietal ciders." (You can find Seedling and their ciders at Green City Market.) Lacey was still thinking about cider ice cream. Then he tasted the granita, "and it was actually way better." Does he feel deprived? "No!" Lacey smiles. "In that one instance, no."

Recipe after the jump.

Applejack Granita

Makes a bit more than half a gallon

1/2 gallon apple cider
Sugar (if needed)
2 ounces Lairds Applejack

If necessary, sweeten cider to taste with sugar. Add applejack and pour into a shallow dish. Place into freezer. Scrape with a fork periodically to break up. Don't worry if it freezes solid. Scrape a fork or spoon across the top, shaving servings from the block.

Timothy Lacey, the Drawing Room and Angel's Share Mixology

5 Comments

Thanks for the reminder about Applejack. It seems to have become one of America's forgotten spirits, but I remember serving Jack Rose Cocktails back in the day. OK, that was quite a few days ago, and I this recipe sounds a lot better. A good fresh cider from the farmers market certainly doesn't deserve to get mixed with need Grenadine!

Great article Seanan! Just proof that culinary help is but an email away. ;)

Sounds like a positively delicious way to good grace.

Alcohol to keep a granita from freezing up solid. What a great idea!

this is a great help to me! I'm also lactose-intolerant so this is a huge treat. I can't wait to try it.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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This page contains a single entry by Janet Rausa Fuller published on December 15, 2010 9:45 AM.

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