The Barefoot Cook

Watermelon Granita

With the Summer nearing half over mother nature keeps cranking up the heat. We are always looking for a cool treat on a hot evening. I don't know about you but we don't always have the funds to run out to Rita's. As a less expensive alternative I like to make these up using the fruits I've gathered at the farmers markets. A Granita is a cooling, icy slushy originated in Italy. These can be made in a variety of sweet refreshing flavors, such as melon, peach, strawberry, blueberry and even coffee.

4 - 5 cups seedless watermelon chunks, packed (about 1 1/2 lb)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (you can substitute with RealLemon brand bottled juice)

Place the watermelon chunks in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a mesh sieve into a bowl (you should have 2 cups).
In a sauce pan combine the sugar and water. Heat over high heat, stirring, just until the sugar dissolves. Pour the syrup and lemon juice over the watermelon puree and stir well. Pour the mixture into the frozen cylinder of an ice cream maker, insert the paddle and place on the lid. Turn the crank every few minutes to stir following your machines instructions.

An alternate method of doing this if you don't own one of those nifty devices it to pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 metal or glass baking dish. Place uncovered into the freezer until ice crystals begin to form, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Using a fork, stir to break up the mixture. Return to the freezer and freeze, stirring with the fork every 30 minutes to prevent it from turning into a solid mass. It should be crystalized and sludgy in another 2 hours.

To serve, spoon into chilled serving dishes and enjoy!

Serves 6

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