There is a line in Will’s Midsummer Night’s Dream – “Thus to make poor females mad.” That would be me when granita is served – the poor mad female. I love this stuff on a hot summer day. My love affair with granita started in Sicily, where it originated. In summer, we used to sit at a little restaurant by the sea dipping brioches into our frosty granita, cooling off from the heat.
For those of you not familiar with this refreshing treat, granita is a frozen dessert made from sugar, water and other tasty bits like fruit (ok vodka or other libations too). Granita is now served all over the country and is similar to a sno-cone, sort of. Making granita requires no special ice cream maker – only a shallow dish, a fork and a freezer. And it is a perfect excuse to stick your head in the freezer every 30 minutes on a hot midsummer’s day.
I made this watermelon granita for dinner last eve. You literally pulverize a watermelon in a food processor or blender. (Hint: A seedless watermelon makes the job much easier.) Mix in some sugar, lime juice and vodka. (Feel free to omit or change the alcohol and of course, you can mix it up with other fruits. Throw in some strawberries or raspberries or….). Stir to combine and presto! Ready for the freezer!
Pop the concoction in the freezer, wait a few hours and then scrape the top every 30 minutes or so as the ice crystals start to form. You end up with a flaky, refreshing sweet treat that is so simple to make.
You too may end up a poor mad (fe)male when served.
Buon estate! Baci, Michele
Watermelon Vodka Granita
1/2 watermelon, seedless
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of one lime
½ cup vodka
- Scoop out the flesh of the watermelon into a blender. Add the sugar. Pulse until smooth. You may have to do the watermelon in batches.
- Transfer the liquid to a bowl. Stir in the lime juice and vodka. Stir well to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a 13 X 9 inch baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. After a few hours, start to check the granita. When ice crystals begin to form, take a fork and scrape the ice around the top and edges. Return the container to the freezer.
- Repeat until you have a wonderfully flaky mass of yummy. The process may take a few hours but great fun sticking your head in and out of the freezer!