Strawberry Granitas
Yield: about 6 cups
Sweet, melt-in-your-mouth granitas can be made with a variety of seasonal fruits for a refreshingly light dessert or snack all summer long. As the mixture freezes, simply use a fork to scrape the granita into flaky, sweet crystals and enjoy as is or in a homemade "gelati!"


  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (plus an extra tablespoon or two depending on sweetness of fruit and personal preference)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice*
  • 3 cups sliced hulled strawberries (1 pound whole berries)
  • Optional for serving: fresh berries, mint, and/or whipped cream; the granitas can also be spooned over vanilla ice cream for a homemade “gelati”


  1. Stir the first 3 ingredients, starting with the 1/2 cup sugar, in small bowl until the sugar dissolves. Blend the strawberries in a blender of food processor until smooth. Add the sugar syrup and blend until combined.  Taste the mixture.  If it’s not sweet enough for your liking, add a bit more sugar (I added 2 more tablespoons to my last batch because the berries were not overly sweet), blending thoroughly and tasting again.  Similarly, if you prefer more tartness, you could add an extra squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

    Pour the  mixture into a 13x9x2-inch nonstick metal baking pan. Freeze until icy around edges, about 30 minutes. (I set a timer so I don’t forget.)  Using a fork, stir the icy portions into the middle of the pan. Return to the freezer until the mixture is frozen, stirring the edges into the center every 30 or so minutes.  This should take 1-1/2 to 2 hours total. After the mixture is chunky, it’s fine to cover and freeze overnight.  The granitas won’t freeze rock hard at this point, so you can break them up further before serving.

    When ready to serve, scrape the granita into bowls, and garnish as desired.


*You could omit the citrus for more pronounced sweetness, or substitute with a good balsamic vinegar. Mint offers complementary flavor, so you could also infuse your water with some fresh sprigs.

Adult options:  A small amount (a couple tablespoons) of your favorite liqueur added to the granita mix before freezing won’t inhibit freezing and allows for interesting flavor customization.  However, you may wish to use this an option later so that both kids and adults can enjoy.

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