If you are anything like me, when hot weather strikes all you want to eat is something cool and refreshing. This summer rather than opting for ice cream I decided to try making my own gantita– with the help of my husband as an assistant 🙂 . Granita (in Italian also granita siciliana) is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, although available all over Italy (but granita in Sicily is somewhat different from the rest of Italy), it is related to sorbet and italian ice.
Somewhere between sorbet and a sno-cone, a granita is the perfect refreshment when you’re hot, cranky, and looking for an excuse to stick your face in the freezer every 30 minutes.
Much simpler than churned ice creams and sorbets, granitas (or “granités”) can be prepared with no special equipment. All you do is put a sweetened liquid or puree in a shallow container, pop it in the freezer, and occasionally scrape it up with a fork to form its granular to flaky consistency. This is frozen dessert at its most primitive, so the process of making it is really simple.
My preferred method for making granitas is to start off by cooking up a batch of simple syrup. It just takes a few minutes of heating up water and honey (usually between 1 to 2 parts honey to 1 part water) together until the honey dissolves.
Here’s the recipe:
1) In a medium saucepan, combine the honey and water and bring to a boil, stirring until the honey dissolves.
2) While your sauce is cooling, take your fruits of choice and blend in your blender. (3 cups of fruit) — we used watermelon, pineapple & white cherries for this batch 🙂
3) Let cool. Stir syrup and fruit puree together and pour into a chilled 13 x9 inch baking dish. Place in the freezer and freeze, stirring every 30 minutes until the mixture is firm.
4) Continue to stir every thirty minutes: take the pan out and scrape the frozen mixture with a fork until all the frozen pieces are broken into small shavings and mixed well with the remaining liquid. Continue to freeze. Scrape every thirty minutes until no more liquid is in the granita.
Voila! Enjoy your healthy refreshing treat!