Granita siciliana, as the name suggests, is a granular, semi-frozen dessert with Sicilian origins. (Granita means “grained” or “granular” in Italian). Granita is a simple dessert, usually made from pureed fruit and sugar. The mixture is then frozen, and periodically scraped to give the dessert its granular texture. Indeed, breaking up the ice crystals is essential: it gives the dessert its signature crunch, and works to enhance the flavors within the dish.
The sugar and alcohol in the recipe help prevent the mixture from getting too solid. Beyond that, it helps to use fruit that is completely ripe. Finally, a little lemon or lime zest will help give your granita just the right amount of tartness – the perfect complement to a hot summer day.
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
CHILL TIME: 2 to 4 hours, depending on freezer strength
YIELD: Serves 6
WHAT TO GRAB:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup rum
1/2 Watermelon, roughly chopped
1 Honeydew, peeled and roughly chopped
Zest of 2 lemons (or limes)
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. In a small pot, over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water to form a simple syrup. Combine the syrup, honey dew, water melon, lemon zest, and rum in large blender. Puree the mixture.
2. Pour the mixture into two large baking dishes, but be sure that the mixture is no deeper than a ¼-inch deep. Place the dishes in your freezer. When a layer of ice has formed on the top, take a fork and break it up. When a new layer of ice has formed, take the fork and break up that layer. Continue the process until the mixture is completely frozen.