Summer is over now, but a tasty and refreshing granita is always welcome! Tipically a summer treat, granita is a cold spoon dessert, which is part of the traditional Sicilian breakfast and cuisine. It is a semi-frozen liquid compound, whose preparation involves water, sugar and juice of whatever fruit you prefer. Together with the sorbet, it is considered the progenitor of ice cream, but it has a more grainy and creamy consistency than it. Also, depending on the area in which it is prepared, its compactness makes it very similar to the sorbet.
Granita and its secrets
The preparation of granita is very simple and has very ancient origins. Greeks and Romans used to mix fruit juice with snow. But the credit for the recipe as we taste it today goes to the Arabs, who introduced citruses and sugar cane in Sicily. A little secret for the traditional granita preparation is to cut a lemon in four and put it to soak in a liter of water, for about one hour. In this way the aromatic substances present both in the rind and in the lemon will dissolve in the water. This procedure will make the granita very fresh, refreshing and low-calorie, with a very intense flavor.
Here is the recipe of lemon granita, made with the Sicilian fruit par excellence. Externally yellow and internally white, this specialty of Sicily has a particularly sour and juicy flesh, rich in vitamin C. It’s ideal to be enjoyed a good drink, genuine and healthy.
- 750 ml of water
- 350 g of sugar
- 180 ml of lemon juice
Boil the water with the sugar for about 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat and let it cool. As soon as it is cold, add the filtered lemon juice and place the mixture in the freezer, in a metal container.
Mix it often with a spoon, to prevent it from becoming a block of ice: this is the secret of its graininess!
The following day, remove the container from the freezer half an hour before serving the granita. When the ice starts to melt, mix the granita thoroughly with a mixer or a diving whisk, until reaching the desired degree of creaminess.
If you want to add other kinds of fruit, coffee, or anything else, just replace these ingredients with lemon and you’re done!