Thursday, July 16, 2015

Watermelon Granita

Hello, everyone!  Happy Thursday!  Is it just me, or has this week just flown by?  My daughter has had swimming lessons all week, so that's probably why it has gone for quickly for me.  
As I have made mention of before, I love making ice creams in the summer, but sometimes I have half of a watermelon staring at me in the face, and no one has touched it for a few days.
I start getting nervous that it's going to go bad before it gets eaten, and I hate throwing away fruit.  Especially watermelon (I know I'm cheap, but common, I can't be the only one that thinks they're expensive...).  
However, I have a really simple and flavorful way of keeping that watermelon around for a bit longer!  Make it into a granita!  You can do this with any fruit that is mostly water (which is why watermelon works so beautifully for this), and it comes together pretty quickly.  Also, how pretty and impressive looking is this???
My 4 year old daughter helped me make this, and we had it in the freezer within 15 minutes.  My husband made this for her when she was a baby, and teething...the ice felt amazing (I'm sure) on her tender gums, and we knew exactly what was in it, so we were happy to give it to her!

Here's your grocery list for this one;
4 C watermelon
2 sprigs of mint
3 Tbs granulated sugar (optional)

This is going to come together pretty quickly, like I said, so let's get started!  You don't even have to use the mint, if you don't want to, but I like the flavor combo of watermelon and mint, and I have mint growing in my backyard, so why not?  So, to start off with, put your mint and your cubed watermelon into a food processor, and give it a whirl, until it is smooth.  It will be somewhat pulpy, but that's okay, we'll address that in a second.
 

 




As it is is whirling away in the food processor, add in the sugar (if you're using any...when my husband made it for our daughter as she was teething, he didn't add any sugar).  Once everything has been all processed together, strain the juice out into any pan that will fit into your freezer.  I didn't have much freezer space, so I just used an 8"x8" metal pan.  I would normally prefer a glass dish, since you have to scrape it with a fork, and scraping against a metal pan with a fork is like nails on a chalk board to me; however, I didn't have any glass dishes handy, so, I just grabbed the metal and was pretty gentle with it.  I also had the worlds smallest strainer, for some reason, but even straining out little bits at a time, it only took me about 5 minutes to get through everything. 
 




Just discard the pulpy leftovers, and you'll be left with a lovely watermelon juice.  How pretty is that??  We're almost finished!  Just pop this into the freezer for 1 hour.  
 
I actually got caught up playing with my daughter, so I left this in the freezer for about 1 1/2 hours, but no worries.  With your fork, break up the block so that you get small crystals, and put it back into the freezer, for another 1 hour.  Keep pulling this out every hour, scrape the crystals and put it back in.  You'll only need to do this 3-4 times before it's ready to serve!  If you've ever had a snow cone, this is the texture of a granita; icy, and super refreshing, perfect for a hot summers evening!