Simple Yet Satisfying: Granita

jose mier's raspnerry granita

Jose Mier coming to you once again from the kitchen—or in this case, the freezer. I think I mentioned the rock hard sno-cones we all used to get as kids. If they spend any time in the freezer, the once miniscule ice crystals would fuse together into a brick of (almost) solid ice. It took some work to be able to consume these, but we were almost always successful.

jose mier's raspnerry granita
Jose Mier loves some granita

Now that we’re older we still love the taste and cooling sensation on the tongue that frozen desserts bring, but our tastes are more upscale. Fortunately, there’s a quick and easy, yet sophisticated dish that will satisfy our craving for something sweet and cold: granita.

As the name suggests it’s made by grating a frozen liquid separating the ice particles so they’re not all part of one large frozen chunk. It comes to us by way of Sicily.

The liquid comes from whatever fruit you choose. You can use anything (although I haven’t tried this with bananas). Fruits like strawberry, pineapple, raspberry or watermelon are perfect.

The key to all this is to put your fruit in a blender (with sugar) and puree it. Then you strain it and freeze the liquid you just produced. You put it in a pan in the freezer and freeze till solid. Then scrape (grate) with a fork until you have enough icy particles to fill a small serving container for you or your guests.

One recipe I found online is for a watermelon granita. They add lime to the watermelon giving it a refreshing twist.

For those who want to try it at home, here’s a condenses version of the recipe:

• 6 cups watermelon (cubed)
• 3 limes (juiced)
• 1/3 cup sugar
Blend all ingredients till smooth and strain the liquid through a sieve. Place liquid in a shallow baking dish and freeze for about four hours. Then scrape with a fork and serve.
Simple, no? Yet this easy dish is a refreshing delight especially on warm summer days.