Frosty-cold summertime dessert perfection.
Makes about 6-8 servings
4 cups seedless watermelon cut into 2-inch chunks
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (half this amount if using table salt)
Optional: minced mint leaves for garnish
1. In a food processor or blender, blend the fruit with the juice, sugar and salt until smooth (occasional small intact pieces are fine too).
2. Pour the mixture into a 9x13-inch pan, to a depth of about 1/2-inch. Sprinkle zest evenly over each pan, then slide them into the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. Scrape and stir the mixture with a fork and freeze again. Repeat about every 30 minutes for a total of 4-5 hours, breaking up the frozen mixture each time. The granita is done when it’s a frosty mixture, sort of a cross between sorbet and shaved ice. Garnish with the mint (if using) and serve in small bowls.
This is literally the perfect dessert for summer. Light, cold, refreshing, and no ovens or grills required.
I created this recipe to make in my summer cooking camp recently, and it was a huge hit! We served it as the parents came to pick up their campers, and adults and kids alike loved it and clamored for seconds. The lime balances the watermelon, so much so that many parents couldn’t quite tell what type of fruit we had used! (Whatever it was, they just wanted the recipe. So here it is, hah!)
The biggest challenge here is freezer space. You’ll need a spot to set a pan full of liquid and keep it somewhat level during freezing. In my granita-making dream of dreams, I’d freeze this in a couple wide rimmed baking sheets in a walk-in freezer, so the shallow mixture could freeze much faster (I’d guess maybe in about an hour?). But, assuming you (like me) have a normal human-sized freezer, the 9x13 pan will probably be your go-to.
You can absolutely make the blended fruit mixture ahead and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to make the granita. Then, when it’s time for granita-making, you’ll just need to plan to pop into the fridge every half-hour or so to scrape the mixture.