It is officially mango season! The most apt thing for this summer seemed to be this mango and lime granita. Granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, it is available all over Italy in somewhat different forms. Granita is very versatile and can be flavoured with almost any fruit like strawberry, lime, watermelon, mango.
Granita is very easy to make but just requires attention. It is a great low calorie dessert that is cold, soothing for the heat and also loaded with the natural goodness of mangoes. The lime gives it a little distinct flavour addition and it is very delicious. It should be had really cold or else the crystals tend to melt. That moment it gives you a sudden brain freeze but then after a bite it makes you go back for more! It keeps well for 3-4 days easily.
Ingredients: (Serves 8)
- Medium ripe mangoes- 2
- Finely grated lime zest- 1 teaspoon
- Water- 2 1/4 cups or 540 ml
- Granulated sugar- 3/4 cup+ 2 tablespoons
- Lime juice- 1 1/4 tablespoon
Cut cheeks of the mangoes and using a spoon, scoop out the pulp. Similarly remove all the pulp surrounding the seed making sure to extract the maximum flesh out of the mangoes. Discard the seed and skin. Add the pulp to a processor or blender and blend until smooth and lump free making sure you scrape the sides of the blender once.
Pour the puree into a bowl and to it add the finely grated lime zest. Add the water, sugar and lime juice and whisk well until the sugar dissolves. Give it a taste to check if it is sweet and there is a slight lime flavour because some mangoes tend to be sweet while some aren’t. Just note the fact that if it is a little high on the sugar now, it will be perfect after frozen. Pour into a shallow round or square metal pan. Put the pan in the freezer for 1 and 1/2 hours. The mixture should have set a bit on the top. Using a fork, scrape it off to get a loose icy clumpy mixture.
Return to the fridge and after 40 minutes use a fork again to scrape the crystals from the side to the centre, the centre may be liquid-y but the sides would have started to set. Initially it may seem like loose mixture but after a few stirs it will begin to crystallise properly. Again return to the freezer for 40 minutes. Repeat the process for 4 to 5 times. Totally after about 3 to 4 hours, depending on how cold your freezer is, you will get a crystalline, granulated mixture. Initially it may seem like a loose mess but then after 4-5 sessions it will start to form proper crystals. Below are the pictures after every 40 minutes.
NOTE– Make sure the freezer setting is at maximum coldness.
After first 40 minutes in the freezer–
After second 40 minute session–
After third 40 minute session–
After fourth 40 minute session–
After final fifth 40 minute session–
You can serve it immediately or you can keep it in the freezer overnight and serve the next day. If keeping in the freezer overnight, reduce the coldness of the freezer to the lowest, cover the pan with aluminium foil or cling film and keep. One tip is, if you are keeping it overnight and then again for half a day and serving in the evening, just scrape it once in the morning, cover with foil and return to the freezer. This will prevent it from hardening too much and won’t be difficult to scrape while serving. When ready to serve the granita, place a fork at the top and pull it towards you in rows. Scoop and serve immediately as it will melt quickly. It will be quite cold but that is how it should be.