Looking for a summer dessert alternative to ice cream? Look no further! Erica Reid shares a warm-weather go-to treat from her new book, Shut Up and Cook!: A watermelon granita. “This dessert is mouth-watering, fresh and satisfying,” says Reid. “It is perfect on those hot sweltering summer days when you want something cooling and fresh. You can serve it alone as a fun drink, as a dessert or as a palate cleanser in between courses.” As a mom-of-two, finding kid-friendly desserts without refined sugars is key. “My kids love granitas. It reminds them of our summer vacations,” she says. “They are very soft in flavor and naturally sweet and juicy.”
The best part about this refreshing granita? It’s versatile. “Have fun with these and make them your own. You can squeeze lime or lemon on top or add fresh mint leaves for a simple but fancy finish,” she says. “I am not an alcohol drinker, but a splash of your favorite spirit would add an extra kick of flavor and excitement for those who do like to indulge a little!”
Erica Reid’s Watermelon Granita
8 cups chopped seedless watermelon (about 4 1⁄ 2 lbs.)
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Fresh mint, for garnish
1. Add watermelon, maple syrup and lime juice to a blender. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour watermelon purée into an 8-inch-square baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze 3 hours.
2.Remove dish from freezer, and scrape surface of mixture with a fork until it resembles a slushy. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze 3 more hours. Just before serving, scrape entire granita with fork until it resembles fresh snow. Divide among bowls; garnish with mint leaves. Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container up to 2 weeks.
Serves: 6 to 8
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 6 hours, 10 minutes (includes freezing)