Homemade Lemon Granita | The REAL Italian Ice Recipe
It's hard to describe granita to someone who has never tried it. Inevitably, the description ends up making the Sicilian dessert sound like flavored ice—a glorified snow cone. In reality, it's unbelievable creamy and flavorful, with a smooth texture that rivals gelato.
An ice cream machine will make the process much simpler, but it's also quite easy to make without an appliance. If you're in the market for an affordable machine, we've had good success with this model from Cuisinart.
Granita has a very short shelf life. You can keep it in the freezer but it will inevitably freeze solid. While you can thaw it in the fridge to revive it somewhat, we recommend making it as fresh as possible in order to have the best experience.
Can't get enough granita? Check out our almond-flavored recipe!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
1 2/3 cups (400ml) water
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (200ml) fresh-squeezed lemon juice (you'll need about 5-6 large lemons)
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, filter the lemon juice through a fine mesh strainer.
When the simple syrup is cool, stir in the lemon juice.
If using an ice cream machine, pour the room temperature mixture into the machine and let it run for 20-30 minutes, or until it has solidified into a thick, creamy texture.
If you don't have a machine, pour the room temperature mixture into a shallow tupperware or glass container. Cover and place in the fridge until the top starts to develop ice crystals and freeze (about 60-90 minutes). Remove from the freezer and break up all the ice by stirring the granita with a fork. Place back in the freezer and repeat this process 3-4 times, or until the granita has a smooth, consistent texture. Keep in mind that the time it will take for ice to form will diminish as you go.
Serve granita fresh for best results, or store in the freezer for 1-2 days and thaw in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes before serving. Buon appetito!