In America, we have snow cones—hard pebbles of ice soaking in artifically flavored, neon-colored “juice.” In Italy, they have granitas—soft flakes of frozen water and fruit. Perfect for summer, the Italian dessert can be made in just 2 hours, no noisy machines required.
Makes 4 Servings
If you’ve ever had true Italian gelato, you know it’s ice cream from angels. In Italy, though, we also perfected the healthier combination of fruit and ice. The granita was invented in Sicily and it’s like a cross between a sorbet and an Italian ice. The most common flavors are lemon, mandarin orange, strawberry, coffee, almond, and mint. But my absolute favorite is lemon.
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
Sprigs of fresh mint, for garnish
1. Bring 2 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Let boil for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and zest, return to a boil, and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
2. Place a metal baking pan (an 8-inch square pan is perfect) in the freezer to chill. Pour the syrup into the pan. Freeze until the mixture has frozen edges, about 2 hours. Scrape the frozen edges into the mixture, and freeze again until the mixture has frozen into a slushy ice, about 2 hours longer.
3. Using the fork, scrape the granita into chilled bowls. Garnish each with a sprig of mint, and serve immediately.
|– From Skinny Italian
by Teresa Giudice with Heather Maclean