Summertime means it’s time for granita!
Summer has officially arrived! Along with the extra-warm weather comes the perfect opportunity for me to share with you one of my favorite things about summertime in Sicily: granita!
Granita is a semi-frozen Sicilian delectable. Think a much more flavorful and natural version of an Icee or snow cone mixed with the smooth, almost creamy texture of sorbet. It is fairly easy to make and without any dairy in it, it is a satisfying, low-cal, almost-guilt-free and very refreshing treat on a hot, summer afternoon.
Recently the temperature jumped up into the low 90’s and all I could think of was how good some granita sounded! I happened to have a plethora of strawberries on hand so I looked up a recipe and got to work. The recipe I used I found on the blog, MangiaBenePasta. This particular post includes recipes for a total of 8 different flavors. Some of the most common flavors you will find in Sicily are: chocolate, coffee, lemon, strawberry, almond, pistachio, melon and mixed berry.
Here is the recipe:
(Serves 4 to 6)
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
2 pints very ripe strawberries
Optional: Sweetened whipped cream
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cool to room temperature.
Set a few of the strawberries aside for a garnish later. Hull and puree the remaining strawberries in a food processor. Stir the puree into the cooled syrup. Transfer the mixture to a shallow pan and place in the freezer. Freeze according to the instructions for freezing granita above.
When ready to serve, spoon the granita into chilled glasses and top with a spoonful of whipped cream. Garnish with a whole strawberry.
Next time I will use two containers and not fill them so full so it will freeze faster. If you make the granita in the morning, it should be ready by the afternoon. Read the freezing instructions at the top of the MangiaBenePasta post. It explains how you’ll need to pull it out of the freezer every 30-45 minutes to break it up. You will also need to pull it out 5-8 minutes before you serve it to allow it to thaw just a bit.
Granita tastes all the better when served on a hot afternoon and shared with friends and family!