Blend Frozen Watermelon For An Instantly Refreshing Granita

Watermelon granita in a glass cup
Watermelon granita in a glass cup - SherSor/Shutterstock

Summer desserts give warm, hearty winter desserts a run for their money. Light, refreshing, yet just as sweet as an autumnal pumpkin pie, desserts crafted for the sunshine are invigorating and vivacious. From berry-topped fruit tarts to melt-in-your-mouth popsicles and Oreo ice cream cakes, cooling desserts will curb your sweet tooth and keep you from cooking under the heat of the summer sunshine.

Although there is a laundry list of cold desserts to pick from, one of the easiest to make is an icy Italian granita. Originating in Sicily, granita is a snow cone-esque dessert with a semi-sorbet spirit made from fruit and sugar -- perfect for foodies who crave the ease of a laid-back dessert recipe. Sweet and refreshing, watermelon is quintessentially summer, so using it to button up an icy granita means you're taking full advantage of its peak seasonal freshness and flavor while guaranteeing a dessert that's not only delicious but that also celebrates the bounty of the season.

The coarse texture of this fruity dessert melts slowly in your mouth, allowing its decadent flavors to linger longer than a sorbet or fruity ice cream does. Although watermelon is the star of the show, the sugar aids in the development of a uniform texture and an evenly distributed sweetness across the dulcet dish. An easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing dessert that's tailor-made for both bustling pool days and a Sunday afternoon couch potato haze, what's not to love about watermelon granita?

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

Tips For Making Watermelon Granita

Watermelon in a blender next to watermelons
Watermelon in a blender next to watermelons - Zoomik/Shutterstock

You don't need to be an expert in the kitchen to perfect a watermelon granita recipe, but it's also not impossible to make a mistake along the way. Although making watermelon granita is as easy as cutting up watermelon and blending it with sugar before freezing the mixture, keeping a few tips in mind as you move through this Italian-inspired dessert journey will make things smoother than sailing down the Strait of Sicily.

For starters, pick the perfect watermelon by locating one that is heavy, dark green, and doesn't have a hollow sound when you give it a friendly knock with your fists – defining characteristics of a sweet, ripe watermelon. Because the watermelon will be blended, you don't need to worry about cutting it into well-presented shapes. Simply cut the end of the watermelon off and scrape its sugary guts into a blender.

You can add water and sugar to the blender individually or introduce a basic simple syrup after you've blended the fruit to promote a silky texture throughout the finished product -- either option works fine. Because watermelon is so ... well ... watery, straining after blending isn't necessary but it can help remove fruity bits of fiber and seeds that may not have fully blended. Occasionally scraping the mixture with a fork while it freezes will help to develop that fluffy, icy consistency. Once it's fully frozen, it's time to enjoy!

Tricking Out Your Watermelon Granita

Two watermelon granitas with basil garnishes
Two watermelon granitas with basil garnishes - Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

If you haven't caught on already, watermelon granita is downright delicious on its own. But if you enjoy experimenting with flavors, consider jazzing things up by incorporating additional complementary ingredients. A drizzle of acidic citrus juice from lemon, lime, or grapefruit can balance the sweetness of the sugar and watermelon while uplifting the overall flavor profile without entirely transforming it. For a pronounced citrus flavor, grate citrus zest over the final product.

Experiment with spices like chili powder, ginger, or cardamom to add a warming, spicy depth to the granita's bright and zippy flavor profile. You can either blend it with the watermelon or add it directly to the fully frozen dessert. If you don't want to taste grains of seasoning, use a sieve to strain the concoction. For a tint of something savory and aromatic, a balsamic glaze will give your watermelon granita a sophisticated twist -- bonus points for garnishing with fresh mint or basil.

Throwing a party? Spike your granita with tequila for a floral, intoxicating flair, or make something with more oomph by preparing a chili-spiced watermelon rosé granita. Whether you keep it simple or trick it out with funky additions, as long as you have watermelon, sugar, water, and a spot in your freezer, you're in for a treat.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.