This is the season of all fruits delicious and tropical! Summer is at it’s peak and the mercury is rising as if there is no tomorrow. It is also the season of my favourite watermelon, juicy, red and sweet watermelon. The fruit is so good on it’s own with a sprinkle of salt and pepper but it is even better when you make things like granita and agua fresca out of it.
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. It is called granita because the dessert has a granular texture!
Ingredients: (Serves 8-9)
- Chopped watermelon- 8 cups (I used about 1/2 a medium watermelon. Seedless is better but if using with seeds don’t worry and go ahead as it will be strained)
- Lime juice- 3 tablespoons
- Granulated white sugar- 1/2 cup or 100 grams
- Salt- 1/4 teaspoon
Place the cubed watermelon in a blender and blend it until all the cubes are completely turned into juice. Alternately, you can simply use a hand blender. I prefer to use a hand blender as it works out quicker and minimizes the number of dishes used.
Pass through a fine sieve making sure you keep mixing the pulp to extract the maximum juice out of it. Whisk in sugar until it completely dissolves. Add the lime juice and whisk well. Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 metal baking dish or if you don’t have that, any other big round metal dish (approx 9 inches big will be ideal).
NOTE– Make sure the freezer is set at maximum coldness.
Freeze for 2 hours, at this point it will be slightly liquid-y and only the sides would have started to set. Using a fork scrape the frozen layer into the liquid and you will get a loose mixture at this point. Again, keep in freezer for 2 hours and scrape using a fork to form small crystals. Repeat this 2 more times at intervals of 2 hours and in the end you’ll get proper crystals. It sometimes may take more time to set or may set faster depending on the refrigerator’s cooling efficiency. So if in case after the 4th 2 hour session the mixture is still a wet mixture, keep it for more time until you get a proper crystallized mixture. Don’t keep it out for too long as it will melt fast.
Given below are the pictures after every 2 hours.
After first 2 hours–
After second 2 hour session in the freezer–
After the next 2 hours in the freezer–
After the final 2 hours–
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.