A granita is an icy, slushy treat. It’s sort of like an Italian ice that you fluff up with a fork into crystalline crystals and then you get it into your mouth as soon as possible – it melts quickly! It is also made quite quickly and you do not need an ice cream machine, which is a huge bonus when it comes to frozen desserts. A basic granita recipe is a mix of sugar and water that is flavored, in this case with freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices and still frozen in a shallow dish (as opposed to being churned, like ice cream). Clear out room in the freezer to place an 8-inch or 9-inch square metal baking pan and you are ready to go.
- 2 cups water
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 11/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon and or lime zest (optional)
- Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir to wet the sugar. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sugar dissolves, swirling the pot once or twice. Remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, and stir in the lemon and lime juices and zest, if using.
- Pour into an 8- or 9-inch metal pan. Freeze for about 45 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to freeze. Use a fork to draw the frozen parts towards the center, in effect, combining the frozen with the slushy and liquid portions. Freeze for 30 minutes more and again stir and fluff with a fork, drawing the more frozen edges in towards the center. You are aiming to create even, fluffy ice crystals.
- Check every 30 minutes, raking with a fork, until it is all frozen. It is ready to serve immediately, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Re-rake and fluff with a fork before serving. Scoop the granita into chilled serving dishes and serve immediately.
- We recommend using a metal baking pan to freeze the granita as it holds the cold better than, say, a glass dish.
- The granita melts immediately. Try to chill your serving dishes as suggested. It really helps.