While the weather is starting to get cooler, it’s still hot enough to enjoy a cold, refreshing dessert.
Granita is a great choice. Think of it as a grown-up slushee. Many recipes even include a shot or two of alcohol, though I prefer mine without.
Using a food processor, granitas can be mixed in about 10 minutes.
Then it takes about three or four hours to freeze, checking it a few times to mix and break up the ice crystals so it doesn’t turn into a solid block.
This watermelon and lime granita tastes great with Tex-Mex food, but you can make granita out of any fruit juice or other sweet liquid, including coffee.
Experiment with your favorite flavors and finish a meal with a fresh, frozen treat.
WATERMELON GRANITA WITH LIME AND MINT
Time: 10 minutes, plus freezing time. Serves 6 to 8.
6 to 7 pounds watermelon
½ cup sugar or Splenda
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
Peel the watermelon and cut it into cubes. Coarsely puree in a food processor and strain through a strainer, pressing lightly to get all the juice. You will need about 4 cups of juice.
Stir in the sugar, lime juice and mint, and whisk until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute.
Pour into a 12-by-9-inch metal baking pan and place in the freezer. After about 1 hour, stir with a fork to break up the ice crystals.
Repeat four or five times over 2 to 3 hours. Each time, the ice will be a little less liquid. When it is firm enough to hold a shape, it is done.
Try not to let the mixture freeze solid. If it does, chop it into small pieces in the pan and grind it in the food processor.
This makes about 6 cups.
Nutrition per serving (based on 8): 83 calories, 21g carbohydrates, 13g sugar, 3g sodium.
Adapted from a Los Angeles Times recipe