Very early in my career, I remember being at a somewhat fancy banquet, and after the first course had been served, the waiters came to the table and placed down, what appeared to be a small bowl of sorbet.
I was told it was a "champagne intermezzo." Instead of being happy, I was more concerned that somehow they had forgotten about our main dish and skipped right to dessert. Not wanting to make a fuss, I ate, wondering what going to happen next.
What happened next was a very nice Veal Oscar. Relieved, I admitted to a tablemate the sorbet had caught me a bit off guard. After a few chuckles, it was explained that an intermezzo was a small, refreshing palate cleanser served in between courses.
So, while you are more than welcome to use this black pepper blackberry slush as a dessert, I'm hoping you give it as try as an intermezzo at your next dinner party. Some of you may call this a "granita," and it is very similar, but it's not quite as icy as that. This has a softer, slushier texture.
I made a very small batch, as I only had a half-pint of blackberries, but you can double or triple this easily for a bigger group. You can also make it the day before, "slush it," and keep it frozen until needed. I hope you give it a try soon, but do me a favor, and warn your guests, so they're not worried the meal is over. Enjoy!
1 cup blackberries
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water
pinch of black pepper
very small pinch of salt