Welcome to the dog days of summer. The days of triple digit temperatures, insane humidity, and sky rocketing AC bills. These are the days when it is nearly impossible to cool off, when the AC just doesn’t cut it anymore. So, what is one to do? You could jump in the pool, go to the beach, or park yourself on the couch in front of the fan.
Or, you could eat something cold. Remember when the ice cream man would drive through your neighborhood? Remember the way you would tear through the house, fly out the door, and flag down that truck so you could get the one thing that would truly cool you off?
Those were the days. Now, we’re adults. We are supposed to eat adult things. Icees and snowcones? Didn’t anyone ever tell you those are for kids?
Guess what? There is this fancy dessert out there called a granita. Granita is code for adult Icee. It is frozen, just like an Icee. It is sweet, just like an Icee. It has fruit in it,
just sort of like an Icee. The extra awesome thing about a granita? Anyone can make this, you don’t even need an ice cream maker.
Just get yourself some watermelon, a lime, some fresh mint, and some sugar. What, you don’t see sugar in this picture? Dude, you need to get your eyes checked. (ahem.)
(See that awesome cutting board? It is from Olivia’s Grandpa Craig. I LOVE it! Thanks, Craig!)
Chop up your watermelon.
Roughly chop your mint. It is easiest to bunch up the mint or stack the leaves when chopping it.
Zest and juice one large lime. Or two small ones. A Microplane makes for an awesome zester.
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor. A blender would probably work also.
Puree until all the chunks are gone. Due to the natural texture of watermelon, this mixture will never be completely smooth. Then, add the sugar. I used a 1/4 cup. I don’t like a lot of sugar in my fruit dessert because I like fruit to taste like fruit, not sugar. You may want to add more or less depending on the ripeness of your watermelon. Puree again to mix in the sugar.
Pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Slide it into your freezer for four hours.
Every hour take the granita out of the freezer and rake the crystals with a fork. Return the pan to the freezer when finished.
At the end of the four hours, rake one last time and serve. Enjoy the coolness that radiates from within.
Watermelon Lime Mint Granita
6 cups chopped watermelon
1-2 limes, zested and juiced
1 loosely packed cup of chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
Place the first three ingredients in the bowl of your food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the sugar and blend again. (This would also be the time to go crazy and add a splash of vodka. I promise not to judge, if you promise to share.) Pour mixture into a shallow dish and freeze for four hours. Rake the crystals once every hour.
If, by remote chance, you have leftovers that harden in the freezer, simply set the granita out on the counter for 5-10 minutes and it should soften up.