Granita is an Italian non-dairy frozen treat. It's known as granizado in Spanish, and is sometimes called an ice in American English. Granita has a characteristic rough granular texture and makes a nice cooler for a hot day or an elegant palate cleanser for a fancy meal. It's traditionally made from four parts liquid to one part sugar, but you can play around with the proportions. The liquid in question is often fruit juice, wine, or coffee, but you could use vegetable juice, liqueur, or anything else you think might be good. Experiment! Go wild! Yum.

Granita is easier to make than ice cream because ice cream should be churned to achieve a smooth texture. Granita, on the other hand, is simply poured into a pan and stuck in the freezer, then stirred every half an hour or so, till it's slushy. See recipes for lemon or honeydew granita, or try this mimosa granita, which doesn't conform to the traditional proportions:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 3 cups (720 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 cups (480 ml) champagne
  • 2 tblsp (30 ml) fresh lime juice

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil; stir until sugar dissolves, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Add orange juice, champagne, and lime juice, combine and pour into a rectangular baking dish. Freeze for 1 hour; stir. Repeat as often as necessary, till quite frozen. Scrape the entire mixture through with a fork till spoonable, and serve. Serves lots of people on a hot day. Yum.

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