You’ll hear it everywhere and from everyone: granita is so easy to make. And it’s true. You don’t need an ice cream maker, you don’t need eggs or dairy to make it (a bonus for those that have to be dairy-free), and the only (possible) fuss you’ll have to make is scraping at the ice with a fork to break it up, which is what makes it granita and not a block of flavoured liquid.
In parts of Italy, granita is the breakfast of choice, served with brioche and coffee.
If you’re thinking up ways to get your kids in the kitchen or they already are in the kitchen and want to help make a frozen treat, granita is an ideal starter, as are popsicles and, if you’re into the one-ingredient banana ice cream, this fruit-based instant “ice cream”.
I made lemon granita over the BC (British Columbia) Day long weekend and it disappeared quickly; most of it was eaten by my brothers and as they started to ponder other flavours. The very next day we made a grapefruit granita, with a recipe from the Food Network that I found on What Katie Ate (and I absolutely love Katie and her blog!).
After you’ve made granita, you’ll quickly learn that it’s really a cinch and it’s one of those things that a recipe isn’t really required. You can make it suited to your tastes and according to the level of sweetness from the fruit, keeping in mind you may have to add some sweetener depending on how much it’s watered down; ratios differ, some using more water than juice and vise vera. Some use a fruit puree instead of or as well as fruit juice. I think it largely depends on the kind you’re making – granita can also be made with coffee or chocolate – for example this recipe from Cooking for Engineers uses three cups of orange juice with one cup of water, the latter of which is used to make a simple syrup, whereas the lemon granita I’m sharing (recipe after the jump) only uses a cup of lemon juice and four cups of water.