Strawberry-Lime Granita

As a kid, growing up in Virginia meant summers spent down by the creek looking for salamanders with my best friend, evenings chasing fireflies around the neighborhood, and the necessity for ice-cold sweet treats to cool us off and keep us going on the hottest of days.

Back then a favorite was the snow cone. Crunchy shards of brightly colored and artificially-flavored ice were a must have while I was baking by the pool in mid-July.  As an adult, I discovered granita, a similar idea, but so much better. Granita is a Sicilian treat of shaved ice that can be flavored any way you like. I make mine by blending strawberries and lime juice and adding a pinch of sugar before freezing and scraping. It is so easy! The adult in you will love it – but the kid in you will too!

Strawberry-Lime Granita
Serves 6

3 pounds strawberries
2 limes, juice and zest
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar, additional if needed

First, rinse your strawberries.

Strawberry_Lime_Granita_Recipe_FO_2Remove the stems, cut strawberries into quarters and add half of the berries to the blender.

Strawberry_Lime_Granita_Recipe_FO_3Blend until smooth.

Strawberry_Lime_Granita_Recipe_FO_4Then add remaining berries and blend again until smooth.

Strawberry_Lime_Granita_Recipe_FO_5Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the berries into a large bowl.

Strawberry_Lime_Granita_Recipe_FO_6Using a spatula or the back of a large spoon, press the pulp into the strainer to extract as much juice as you can. Discard pulp and seeds.

Strawberry_Lime_Granita_Recipe_FO_8Add the lime juice, water, and sugar into the strained berry juice. Whisk to combine. Now is the time to taste the mixture. The amount of sugar you need will depend on how sweet your berries were to begin with. If you need to add a little more sugar do so at this time.

Strawberry_Lime_Granita_Recipe_FO_9Pour the mixture into a 9 x 12in (or something close) brownie pan and place in the freezer. Allow to freeze completely for three hours.

Strawberry_Lime_Granita_Recipe_FO_10Remove the pan from the freezer and using a fork scrape the ice continuously. The mixture will start to warm up. At this point return to the freezer and allow to freeze an hour before scraping again. Repeat this process three times.

Strawberry_Lime_Granita_Recipe_FO_11After your final scrape, you are ready to serve. Place mounds of the shaved ice into chilled bowls and top with a sprinkle of the lime zest. Enjoy!


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