Bursting with sweet watermelon and bright, tangy lime, this granita is a cool, refreshing dessert that requires no ice cream machine or churning. With only three ingredients, it's an easy treat to whip up in the summer heat.
Granita is a simple Italian dessert, originating from Sicily. It's made with sugar, water, and some kind of fruit. You'll love this dessert if you like sorbet or Italian ice. It's very similar to both of those treats but has more texture. The unique way it's created makes it seem like you are eating frozen fruity crystals.
We garnished it with fresh basil for a little herbaceous pop, but you can zest a lime or just serve it straight up. The watermelon granita also makes a great base for frosty cocktails. After grating the granita and adding it to your glass, pour on a shot of rum, tequila, or vodka for a thirst-quenching adult beverage.
Gather the ingredients.
Combine the watermelon, limes, and sugar in a blender.
Blend on a high setting until completely pureed.
Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl. Pour the puree through the sieve. You might need to do this in batches so it doesn’t overflow. Push the puree through the sieve using the back of a large spoon. Discard the pulp.
Pour the watermelon juice into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish and place it in a freezer. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until solid.
Use a fork to scrape the granita into fine crumbles.
Serve the granita in little bowls with lime zest of basil for garnish.
- You can skip the straining step to make this even easier. As long as the seeds weren’t large or hard, the granita will still have a great texture.
- If the watermelon is very sweet, you may not need to add as much sugar. Just taste the watermelon before you start and adjust the sugar accordingly.
- You can scrape the granita in batches. Pull it out of the freezer after an hour or so and scrape the top. Place it back in the freezer and do it again after another hour or so and repeat until it is completely broken up.
- Spicy Watermelon Granita: Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder to the puree.
- Berry Watermelon Granita: Add a cup of raspberries or strawberries to the blender before straining.
- Watermelon Cucumber Granita: Add half of a chopped English cucumber to the blender before pureeing. Make sure to strain thoroughly if you are trying out this concoction.
- Boozy Rose Watermelon Granita: Add two cups of your favorite rose wine to the juice before you freeze. Add in a little more sugar if you want it sweet as the rose will cut down on some of the sweetness.