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.
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.