Watermelon Granita with LimeGranitas are snowcones for adults.That's not meant to be a knock against granitas--I love a good snowcone, but they give the impression of being rather, tricycles and teddy bears. Granitas are snowcones all grown up. And, you could even add a shot or two of your favorite spirit for proper grown up granitas. But the ones I'm sharing with you today are alcohol free. They're also free of gluten and dairy and are suitable for vegans and vegetarians alike.
This watermelon granita is made from just half of a medium-sized seedless watermelon. Breaking down the watermelon in a food processor or blender before freezing, ensures that your granita will be the perfect snow-like texture. I've seen loads of granita recipes that call for the addition of water. I'm not sure why--it just waters down the fruit. You wouldn't eat fruit dipped in water, so why add it to your granita? Without water, you get an intense concentration of the watermelon flavor with a slight hint of acidity from the lime. Because it was still a bit early for watermelon season, I added a bit of sugar to really rev things up, but you may not need to.
Growing up, whenever we'd visit my grandparents in Alabama, we'd stop in my dad's childhood neighborhood for styrofoam cups with mounds of syrup-flavored ice and dregs of sugar in the bottom. They were called Cool Cups and they were crude, sugar-laden snowcones whipped up by the neighborhood Cool Cup Man in his kitchen, stored in his chest freezer until the barrage of kids knocked down his door, waving crumbled dollar bills in exchange for cups of deep purple and red nectar.
Granitas can certainly be described as being nectar, but their sweetness is emphasized by fresh, ripe fruit, rounded out with only a smattering of sugar, but you could easily skip the sugar. I'd recommend this if your fruit isn't as sweet as you'd like. The key is to taste the fruit before hand and then determine how much sugar you might need. You can use any fruit you'd like or a combination of fruits. What makes a granita really special has to do with how its prepared and the breakdown and restructuring of the ice crystals. Where snowcones are lumps of ice doused in sugary syrupy artificial flavors, granitas are technically speaking fruit ice. No artificial flavors or colors, just pure, refreshing deliciousness.
Ingredients:For the watermelon granita
1/2 medium sized seedless watermelon
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons sugar
Watermelon Granita with Lime
- Dice at least half of a seedless watermelon into chunks.
- Fill a blender or food processor with the chunks and pulse to break down and liquidize the fruit.
- Pour into a 2 liter plastic container and taste the fruit to check for sweetness.
- Add the remaining fruit into the blender or processor along with some sugar, a pinch of salt and the juice of a lime and pulse as before.
- Combine the sugared liquidized fruit with the fruit in the container. Whisk together and taste to check for sweetness. If too sour, whisk in a bit more sugar. If too sweet, whisk in a bit more lime juice.
- Fit the lid onto the container properly and freeze for 2 hours.
- Remove the container from the freezer and use a fork to scrape every bit of the semi-set granita. Be sure to scrape the corners, sides and all the way to the bottom.
- Refit the lid and place the container back into the freezer and freeze for an hour.
- Scrape the corners, sides, all the way to the bottom and every bit of the fruit ice.
- Fit the lid again and freeze for a further hour.
- Scrape up the entire granita, being sure not to miss a single section so no hard lumps form.
- When the texture resembles snow and the granita is flaky and there are no big clumps, it is ready for eating. Store in the freezer until needed. Will keep for up to two weeks.