Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Watermelon Granita

Summer is here and so are all the wonderful and beautiful melons one comes to look forward to every summer: Ambrosia, Canary, Cantaloupes, Casaba, Sharlyn and of course my favorite Watermelon (follow this link for a nice description with pictures of these and more melons).

I love eating ripe melons over the sink with the juice dripping everywhere. In fact when it comes to watermelon I can make a whole meal out of one. I like it so much that a few years ago I started making a Gazpacho with it, using the juice and flesh, and adding diced red onions, peppers and a little lime juice. It has become a favorite of friends and customers alike.

I also love making Granita with watermelon. Granita is that wonderful Sicilian treat of shaved flavored ices. It’s simple to make and any number of fruits can be used, but since I’m all gaga over watermelons right now, I’m going to give you my watermelon recipe.

Start with a half of a medium sized watermelon. Peel it and turn the flesh into juice with a blender or food processor. It’s best to use seedless watermelon for this. Pass the pureed flesh through a strainer so that all you have is the juice. To this add as much or as little sugar as you like. Now in to a 2 inch deep baking pan pour the liquid. Place the pan in the freezer and set your timer for 1 hour. After one hour check the granita as it starts freezing start shaving it with a fork. Return to the freezer and wait another hour and repeat the shaving. Return to the freezer and start shaving the ice every 45 minutes. Keep doing this until it is frozen and the texture is like snow. Transfer to a container and store in the freezer. Enjoy

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