Watermelon Granita

For one of my favorite summertime desserts, we are once again going back to Italy.  Granita:  not quite a

sorbet, not quite a shaved ice, granitas are simply delicious.  As with many fruit-based frozen desserts, it’s usually a good policy to let the natural flavors speak for themselves.  Ripe melons don’t need addition ingredients to taste great.  Nature has done the work for us; all we need to do is transform these great ingredients into something frozen, refreshing and delicious.

To produce a great granita, a few rules must be followed.  First, be diligent about scraping the mix as it freezes!  The finer the shavings, the better the end result.  Second, mixing in 1 pasteurized egg white right before the freezing process will lend an incredible airy texture to the mix when it’s done.  It’s optional, but I think it makes a huge difference.  Last, and probably most important:  Use ripe fruit!  Your food is only as good as the ingredients and when you only have 4 ingredients, 3 of which are basic staples, your primary ingredient better be good.

Watermelon Granita

Prep time:  10 minutes
Inactive cook time:  3 hours
Yield:  About 5 – 6 portions


1 4lb seedless watermelon, all rind and pith removed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 lime
1 ultra pasteurized egg white, lightly beaten


Place everything except the egg white in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour out into a deep baking pan, work in the egg white with a fork, and freeze for 1 hour.  Remove from freezer and break up any freezing chunks with a fork.  Return to the freezer.  After a couple more hours, remove from the freezer and scrape/work the mix with a fork to form icy flakes.  Cover tightly and continue to freeze until ready to serve.  Give it one last scraping before serving.


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