You NEEDA this granITA in your VIDA! It’s so refreshing and delicious- the perfect sweet treat during high summer, when the melon tastes like candy. I got hooked on granita during a high school trip to Florence, where I discovered a little gelateria called Carabe behind the Duomo. I had been inhaling gelato the whole trip (which is probably why I waddled home in pants that were too tight), but I became a granita convert when I discovered that Carabe also served some of the best shaved ice in town. The all natural flavors offered included the freshest summer fruits, creamy and nutty varieties like almond, and a delightful coffee granita. The texture of granita is somewhere between a slushy and a snow cone- icy and crunchy, but still smooth and delicate. I truly prefer it to gelato! One of the best things about granita is that it’s easy to make at home using fresh ingredients any time of year. I love this watermelon granita during warmer months- it could not be simpler or more delicious. The melon is so sweet this time of year that this recipe requires barely any sugar, just a couple of spoonfuls to help create that desired crystallized texture. The scraping technique is key here- if you let the ice crystals get too hard packed, your granita will be hard and clumpy. It’s important to do a full scrape down every half hour after the initial hour freeze to prevent that from happening! The scraping keeps the crystals light and loose. When you’re ready to serve, spoon the granita into chilled glasses and garnish with a little more mint- maybe a glug of vodka if it’s aperitivo hour! This will keep in the freezer covered with foil for about a week- but I promise this addictive, icy treat won’t last that long!
prep time: 10 min. cook time: ~3 hrs. serves: makes about 1 qt.
1 lb seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
1 lime, juiced
2 tbsp sugar
1 rounded tbsp chopped mint, plus more for garnish
Place all of the ingredients into the pitcher of high power blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a glass or metal 9”x9” baking pan. place on a level surface in the freezer and freeze for 1 hour. At the end of the first hour, use the tines of a fork to scrape and mash any ice crystals that have begun to form and place back into the freezer. Over the next 2 hours, scrape the crystals every 30 minutes to loosen, making sure to scrape the whole pan. At the end of the process, the granita should be light, loose, and similar in texture to a soft snow cone or slushy. Spoon the granita into chilled glasses and garnish with a little more mint to serve. Enjoy cold!