There’s usually a song on constant rotation during the summer break that will be coined the “song of the summer”. Well, if I could coin my “dessert of the summer” for 2015 it would granita, in particular, lemon granita. I have lost count of how many times I have made this now, and I can confidently acclaim to being able to make it as my dad makes pancakes; “in my sleep”.
This recipe is adapted from the one on Epicurious; so far the best one I’ve tried. It’s the most authentic, mouth-puckeringly sour taste I expect in a lemon granita and as it served in an authentic italian cafe.
Your kids want to go to 7-eleven for a sour slurpee of nuclear proportions? Make them this. There’s no artificial flavours or colours and the sugar content is just enough to keep the sourness from being unbearable.
I have since experimented with the following flavours: mandarin orange, watermelon & purple basil, rhubarb, even mango and orange blossom….the possibilities are endless. No fat. High quality sugar. Pure refreshment. Fast. Easy. What else can you ask for?
I adapted the recipe to use healthier and less refined types of sugar. For taste, I prefer the cane sugar. The succanat is definitely the guilt-free option, however the higher mineral content gives the granita a dark colour and a more mollasses-like depth of flavour which is less authentic but still light and refreshing nonetheless!
Lemon Granita Recipe:
yield: 4 small servings
Time: 10 minutes of prep, 3 or so hours for freezing
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup of kettle water, hot
1/3 cup cane sugar or 1/2 cup sucanat (unrefined evaporated cane juice)
1 tsp grated lemon zest (organic lemons are preferable)
- In a small metal bowl, add hot water to lemon zest and sugar and stir with a spoon or whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
2. When sugar is completely dissolved, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice and allow mixture to cool on the counter to room temperature.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in freezer
4. Every 1/2 hour or so, break up the ice crystals with a whisk or spoon.
The granita is best when it’s a slushy texture….not completely frozen. After leaving it in the freezer for a long time, you can just let the bowl sit on the counter for a while.
Serve in an elegant glass or bowl with a spoon and ENJOY this light and refreshing treat!!