With so much produce left over from the cooking demonstrations I conducted at the ISNA convention over 4th of July weekend, I had to come up with ways to use and preserve the goods. This lemon-lime granita is just one of the ways I used over 80 limes and 60 lemons left from our beautiful display.
Granita, similar to a sorbet or Italian ice, is a traditional Sicilian pleasure. Literally meaning, “little grains”, it is served as breakfast or dessert in Sicily and all over Italy, although in some places they’ll serve it chunky and in others it’ll have a more smooth texture.
Granita is made with incredibly fresh fruits and is simply the essence of a Sicilian summer. I remember going to the local store with my younger cousins to buy a fresh brioche and pick out our favorite flavored granitas. On a hot, dry summer morning a coffee granita or lemon granita were my two favorite picks.
Though I couldn’t be in Sicily this year, the heat jogged my memory of those morning walks close to the Mediterranean, the smell of espresso brewing in the air, and the joy of looking forward to yet another cool, sweet, tart taste of my granita di limone.
Anyone can make this recipe, since there’s no need for an ice cream maker. If you don’t have lemon or lime peel you can still make it, though the resulting flavor may not be as citrus-packed.
- zest of one lemon and one lime
- 1/2 cup raw cane or turbinado sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon & lime juice combined (approximately 3 total citrus fruits)
- Combine the lemon and lime zest, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Strain the mixture to remove the zest. Allow the liquid to cool.
- To the syrup, add the fresh lemon and lime juice. Stir well.
- Place the mixture in a freezer-safe container and freeze for 20 minutes, uncovered.
- Use a fork to loosen and turn the ice. Return the mixture to the freezer for another 20 minutes. Repeat this process a couple more times. Cover and store until ready to serve.