Last week I posted a sweet potato recipe in an attempt to entice fall to reach California. Apparently it didn’t work because the temperatures here are over 100º this week. 🙁 As you can see in this recipe, I succumbed to the heat and reverted back to iced desserts for the time being.
If you’re unfamiliar, you can think of “granita” as a super-fancy snow cone. It is an Italian dessert of fresh fruit blended into a smooth puree with sugar and water. This is frozen in a large pan and scraped with a fork into icy flakes. Simple enough, right? It’s an incredibly easy, refreshing, and flavorful dessert.
This granita, however, is a little different. As you may have noticed, my version includes WINE because 1) it adds the perfect sweet flavor to compliment the watermelon, 2) it prevents the mixture from totally freezing solid for an even nicer texture, and 3) wine is my favorite and I try to find as many uses for it as possible. 🙂
Makes 8+ servings
- 4 cups chopped watermelon
- 1 cup resiling (or any sweet wine)
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Scoop out the melon. I prefer starting with smaller watermelons because they typically have more flavor and are the perfect size for this recipe. To start, cut the melon in half and use an ice cream scooper to scoop about 4 cups into a blender. Then, add all the other ingredients (sweet white wine, agave, and lemon juice) right into the blender as well. The exact proportions aren’t super critical here.
Blend this mixture until fully smooth, then pour into a deep 9 x 13 pan, cover, and stick in the freezer. A lot of recipes tell you to check on this every 30 minutes and keep stirring it to ensure even freezing. This is nonsense. Just allow it to freeze solid (at least 3 hours, but up to a day).
Once frozen solid, remove from the freezer and use a large fork to firmly press down and scrape the ice into shavings, as shown above. Because this includes a bit of alcohol (which doesn’t freeze), this will be very easy and you should end up with perfectly fluffy shavings.
At this point, you can return it to the freezer for several days if covered or serve immediately. Remember: since we’re dealing with minuscule crystals, it will melt quite quickly, so you may want to chill your dishes and remove from the freezer just before serving.
Pro tip: save the watermelon rind for a super-cool serving bowl…