July 4th is almost here! If you happen to celebrate big with friends and family then this is a recipe that will rock their socks off. After a long day of grilling, there's nothing better than cooling off in the heat with a little Italian Granita. Think of it as shaved ice, but BETTER.
You can make granita so easily, without the need of ice cream machines. All you'll need is a freezer, a blender, fruit, sugar and water. Yes, just 3 ingredients! Flavors range from coffee to wine to fruit to herbs. Once you know the basic recipe, you can make pretty much any version of this Italian summer classic.
Personally, I love mixing all the seasonal fruit together to make one super flavorful and fruity granita. Specifically I like the blend of strawberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots or melons combined with the citrus zest of a lemon or orange. Fresh mint is a wonderful compliment as well, but feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking.
Here's what you will need:
1/4 cup Simple Syrup or Agave Syrup
1lb Fresh Fruit
1/4 cup water
Here's how you do it:
1. In a blender, place your fresh fruit of choice along with either a squeeze of citrus juice or a few splashes of water. Add your simple syrup or agave syrup. The liquid is what will help the fruits puree into a smooth consistency.
2. Once pureed, our into a cooled bowl for chilling. Here you can add your fresh herbs, zest, alcohol, vanilla extract or other added flavors.
3. Place in the freezer and scrape well with a fork every 3 to 4 hours until frozen and fluffy in consistency.
When it comes to a granita, it is really about tasting as you go and checking consistency. Don't be shy to add a bit more water if your puree is looking a bit thick, or lessening the simple syrup if the fruits are a little on the sweet side.
I hope you enjoy making some summer granitas!