So many beautiful memories are connected to this ice cream. It reminds me of my grandma back in Sicily who used to make this for all the family, including lots of grandkids. Summers in Sicily can get really hot! So either in the morning or after lunch – before we got ready to take a siesta, as that was pretty much everything you could do with that heat – we went straight to my grandma’s freezer to get some granita.
This delicious Sicilian ice cream can be found all over Sicily and beyond. There are different versions of it. Some are creamier, others more icy. But no matter the consistency, it is so refreshing! Especially on hot summer days it is often served for breakfast and on warm summer nights. It comes either in a little plastic cup or with a brioscia (brioche bread) to go or it is served in a clear glass to be enjoyed at a bar or a café.
They say that the origins of this ice cream go back to the Arabic ‘sherbet’, a cold aromatic drink. While in Sicily they collected the snow from the mountains, including Mount Etna and stowed it in stone structures. Then they used that ice during the summer by scratching it and adding fruit or flower syrups.
1l / 33 ¾fl oz of water
150g / 5 ½oz of sugar
200ml / 6 ¾fl oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice
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Stir the water with the lemon juice in a pot. Heat at medium temperature. Then add the sugar and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved completely. Put it to the side and let it rest until it has cooled off. Pour the mix into a bowl and freeze.
Make sure that you take it out of the freezer every 20-30min. to stir it well with a whisk or a fork and freeze again. You should repeat this until it reaches the consistency of little hailstones.
In case it gets to hard when you are ready to eat it, you can either scratch it off with a spoon or blend it quickly. I would recommend to eat it within 3 to 4 days in order to avoid freezer burn.
Prep Time: 20min
Serves approx. 6