Revisit: Italy

Italy was the second country we ever ‘traveled’ to and we had a blast making and eating Italian food, learning about Michelangelo and how he painted the Sistine Chapel and finally about famous Italian composers and the different Italian words we use in music.

There is a refreshing treat that is a popular breakfast in Sicily that I have been dying to make. It is one that the kids (yes kidS, M who is 4 and E who is just about 2) were able to help me make granita.

What is granita? It is basically a semi-frozen ice snow treat thing. All you need to know is that it is cold and refreshing and on a hot day, absolutely magical. Traditionally granita is flavored with lemon, coffee, almond or chocolate- but really the sky’s the limit, if its in season it can be granita. So we decided to make some with what we have in season, watermelon.

Watermelon Granita

Ingredients

  • 1 lb watermelon
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 lemon- juice and zest

Method

Start by cutting up the watermelon into bite size chunks.
To make it easier on the kids, I cut the watermelon in half and then cut a grid pattern. I placed a large bowl over the watermelon and lifted the cutting board to help me flip the bowl right side up. Then it was really easy for the kids to pull out a piece, cut it with a butter knife and then discard the rind. We also used a digital scale to help us measure to 1 lb.

Place the bowl of watermelon chunks in the freezer until they are frozen.

Once frozen put them in a food processor, add the juice and zest of 1 lemon as well as the sugar.

Pulse it until it is a smooth slushy- taste and add more lemon juice or sugar depending on the potency of your lemon and your personal taste. Ours was spot on so we didn’t need to adjust anything.

Pour the mixture into a shallow 8×8 pan or something similar- you want a thin layer of granita. Put the whole thing in the freezer.

Every 30 minutes take a fork and scrape up the granita, the goal is to break up the ice crystals and create that magical snowy texture. Repeat 3 more times.

After 2 hours, remove it from the freezer and scrape once again, and now it is ready to serve! Enjoy it the way the Sicilians do, with brioche for dipping đŸ™‚ Or in my case, with my kitty Zelda.

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