More extra's from today's cover story on bartenders' homemade holiday treats:
post and photo by guest blogger Seanan Forbes
"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.
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