Watermelon Granita

We had the most stunning success growing watermelons this year. I grew my old standby, Moon and Stars, and a newer big momma type, Congo. Congo only grew one melon per vine, but it was a big momma, easily the size of 4 moon and stars combined, and, oh momma, was it sweet.

Moon and Stars Watermelon

The irony of growing watermelons in a 4-season climate like New Mexico is that by the time they ripen, the weather is starting to turn cool again, and I start thinking more of apples than watermelon, but thankfully (?) it was such a blasted hot, rainless summer that when I cracked open the first congo, it was just what the meteorologist ordered.

After Tree and I ate our fill of the fruit, I realized I had an enormous amount of cut watermelon left and no room in the tiny fridge. So I decided to make some watermelon granita. This recipe is from Epicurious. And, let me tell you, it’s a keeper.

Eat me!

It’s not even much of a recipe, just blend up the watermelon a with a little sugar and lime juice. Watermelon is so cooling. It’s the perfect dessert for a warm late summer evening. Even though it’s getting late in the season (and some of you may have had your first frost), if you still have melons in the garden, try this. You won’t be sorry! I also made pickled watermelon rind for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I’ll share the recipe in another post.

Watermelon Granita

This recipe makes 4-6 servings, depending on serving size. You can make this ahead of time for a dinner party. I’ve managed to keep it as long as a week in the freezer (before I ate it all!).

Generous quart of seeded watermelon, cut into chunks, I used probably 6 cups
1/2 cup sugar (or less, if your watermelon is as sweet as mine was)
1 tablespoon lime juice (I used a little more because I love lime juice.

1. Whir everything up in a blender or food processor. Taste and adjust for seasoning (sugar, lime).

2. Pour into a square pan. Find room in the freezer (this is the hard part of the recipe).

3. Let the granita freeze for an hour. Stir. Freeze until firm and then scrape the granita into flakes with a fork. I frequently let the granita freeze solid without stirring. This makes it labor-intensive to scrape into flakes. When this happens, I tend to just chunk it, and eat it in chunks. Or you could do a quick blend to mush it up without melting it. Garnish with mint leaves. So delicious! Enjoy!

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