Watermelon granita

August 10, 2011

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Serves 6

Use seedless watermelon for this rosy mixture. Flavor it with lemon rind and vodka, if you like.

1 seedless watermelon (about 5 pounds)
1/2 cup sugar
Grated rind and juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup vodka (optional)

1. Halve the watermelon and scoop the flesh into a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

2. Transfer watermelon puree to a large bowl and add sugar, lime rind and juice, and vodka if using. Whisk well to combine.

3. In a 9-by-13-inch metal or glass baking pan, pour the pureed mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place on a flat surface in the freezer. Freeze for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the mixture is partially frozen. Use the tines of a fork or small spoon to scrape the ice around the edges into the center. Return the pan to the freezer. Every 20 to 30 minutes, scrape the mixture until it’s a fluffy mass of flaky ice crystals. This can take as long as 4 to 6 hours total, depending on the temperature of your freezer. (The granita is best served the day it’s made, but will keep in the freezer in a covered container for up to a few days.)

4. Spoon the granita into glasses or dessert cups.

Catherine Smart