TGIF! What better way to end the week than with a little something sweet…
Have you had granita? Granita is a Sicilian semi-frozen dessert — a slushy of sorts made with real fruit (or other ingredients like nuts [almond, pistachio, etc.], coffee, or even chocolate), instead of artificial colors and flavors.
Have you made granita? No, you say? What are you waiting for?
Granita is the perfect, no fuss, light and refreshing dessert. And I can’t believe it took me so long to whip up a batch.
I’m now conjuring up all types of flavors of granita in my mind — espresso, chocolate (who doesn’t love chocolate), peach, raspberry, lavender, hibiscus, almond, pistachio, mint and chile…
Today I kept it simple with a watermelon granita using the Sugar Baby varietal. All you need is a watermelon (seeded as best you can) and a little sweetener. Granita is an ideal after-dinner treat, a light and refreshing way to end a meal, and a wonderful palate cleanser. It’s also great for cooling off on a hot summer’s day.
Making granita is a snap. The hardest part was carrying the tray from the counter to the freezer without spilling, as the mixture is in liquid form at this point. All you need to do is mix the ingredients in a blender, pour into a container, and freeze — scraping periodically with a fork until it forms large ice crystals.
Doesn’t get much easier than that.
This is Sugar Baby…an heirloom variety of watermelon with sweet, firm, bright red flesh.
‘Sugar Baby’ Watermelon Granita
6 cups seeded cubed watermelon
1/3 cup sugar (such as coconut palm or raw turbinato)
2 tablespoons lime juice
Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and place on the floor of your freezer. Freeze for about 3 hours, stirring and scraping with a fork every 30 minutes until large ice crystals form. Spoon into cups or glasses and serve.
Note: Seed the watermelon as best you can. Any remaining small seeds will likely get pulverized, especially if you have a high speed blender.