Sicilian Melon and Lemon Granita
It’s melon season! This Sicilian Melon and Lemon Granita can be made with any of your favorite melons, cantaloupe, watermelon, or honeydew. Made Sicilian style that is both creamy and frosty at the same time, very sorbet-like. A delightful slushy treat for hot summer days.
You may know granita served as a dessert or palate cleanser, but did you know it is actually part of a Sicilian breakfast? Lemon being the traditional flavor, it is served with local brioche bread roll (tuppo, pictured below). It is also served as a palate cleanser or enjoyed after meals.
Usually Italian granita is made from blended fruit, but sometimes almond, pistachio, coffee and chocolate are enjoyed. It is sweetened with sugar, then frozen and mixed in intervals just before completely freezing. The Sicilians do it a little differently than they do in Rome, which they call Grattachecca, this is hand-shaved ice.
For this recipe, you want the freshest, juiciest melons. See below how to pick a ripe melon. You can use any variety of your favorite melon, I chose cantaloupe and watermelon.
The lemon is not a predominant flavor in this melon granita. it just enhances the flavor of the melon used. Lime is also delicious with the watermelon.
Cantaloupe: The outside should be tan/golden in color with a light green lines and a little firm.
Watermelon: Should be nice and heavy. This indicates it is full of water. It should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckles.
Honeydew: The outside should smell fragrant, sweet and pale/light lemon in color. It should feel firm, but give slightly when pressed on the end where it the stem was.
I like a shallow glass, freezer-friendly dish. Shallow liquid will freeze faster and make the process much quicker.