Lemon Granita

Granita is best enjoyed on a sweltering day. Its sweet, crunchy ice crystals are Sicily’s version of shaved ice – and in Sicily, granita is a way of life not just a national treasure. Now, those unmistakable ice crystals don’t just form themselves. So plan to make this recipe when you’ve got 4-6 hours, where you can be by the freezer on the hour to scrape the dish, and go back to milling about the casa.


all units: U.S. Imperial

Makes 1 quart of granita 

  • 6-8 lemons at least 1 cup of lemon juice and the zest from 2 lemons
  • 1.25 c of water
  • 1.25 c of sugar

Zest 2 lemons with a microplane or zester into a small bowl and set aside. Then juice the lemons into a medium bowl and strain out the pulp. Set the juice aside.

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil with the lemon zest. Reduce the heat to low and Add the sugar and stir until it’s completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 

Once the lemon-sugar water mixture is cool, stir in the lemon juice and pour into a shallow glass dish. The mixture should be no more than 1-2in high. 

Place the dish in the freezer, set a timer for two hours. After two hours, remove the dish from the freezer, using a fork to scrape the ice crystals into the center. Place the dish back into the freezer and repeat this step every hour until the granita is formed. It should look like shaved ice texture.

Optional to serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, fresh berries and lots of crunchy, cool granita!