Traditional Italian Granita al Limone (Lemon Granita)

 Here is a classic Italian summer must-have.

Refreshing, sweet and tart lemon granita (Italian ice)

almost like the one you’d find in Sicily 

Classic Italian Lemon Granita

Traditionally from Sicily, this recipe for granita al limone is a classic summer favorite that you can really find anywhere in Italy and is the perfect refreshing pick-me-up for hot days. 


Granita (Italian ice/sorbet) is a creamy and fluffy ice dessert with a texture between a sorbet and a slushie. The most common flavors are lemon and mint. In southern Italy, granita al limone is made with their sweet and juicy (and HUGE!) Sicilian lemons, served up in those same carved out lemons with a spoon and a straw. 

Today I will show you 2 ways you can make this lemon granita in your own kitchen, and why not …serve it up in one these cute, but unfortunately regular-sized lemon cups 😉

This granita brings back sweet memories, from a few summers ago, while waiting in Capri at the dock ready to catch the ferry back to Naples.

Even though neither the lemons nor the atmosphere would be the same, I still really enjoy this homemade granita – poolside while daydreaming of the beautiful summer days back in Italy.


To make these lemon cups: 

Slice a really small sliver off one end to create a flat end so the lemon will stand. Make sure not to cut too much or you will end up with a hole.

Slice a lager piece from the other end (the top). 

Without squeezing the lemon too much, using a juicer, juice the lemon. 

With a spoon scoop out the inside of the lemon, careful not to puncture the lemon especially the bottom part. Strain the lemon juice and flesh, extracting as much juice as possible. 

Store the lemon cups in the freezer until ready to use. 

To make the mixture: 

Pour the water in a saucepan. Add the sugar and heat over medium-high heat, while stirring for 3 to 4 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. 

Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl, mix in the lemon juice and refrigerate until cold (about 1 hour).

First method – If you own an ice-cream maker: 

Pour the lemon mixture into the ice-cream maker bowl. Turn on for about 40 to 45 minutes until creamy and mostly frozen.

Scoop into your lemon cups (or regular cups) and enjoy immediately.

Second method – Without an ice-cream maker:

Pour the water/sugar/lemon juice mixture into a freezer safe dish (large, flat and with lid). Cover and freeze for about 45 to 60 minutes. 

With a fork, break up all the ice pieces and mix. Cover and freeze for another 45 to 60 minutes. 

And repeat once or twice more: Mix with a fork, scrape the ice pieces loose, fluff up and mix well. 

Repeat until the crystal are separate, light and fluffy. And texture is something in between a sorbet and a slushie.

Serve in lemon cups or any other bowl topped with fresh mint or lemon zest.

VIDEO RECIPE: Traditional Italian Granita al Limone

Other Italian dessert recipes you might like:

PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD: ITALIAN LEMON GRANITA

Traditional Italian Granita al Limone (Lemon Granita)

Traditional Italian Granita al Limone (Lemon Granita)
Yield: 4 servings

Author: Manuela Mazzocco

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 2 MinInactive time: 4 HourTotal time: 4 H & 17 M

Here is a classic Italian summer must-have.
Refreshing, sweet and tart lemon granita (Italian ice)
almost like the one you’d find in Sicily

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (470 ml) water
  • 3/4 cup* (150 gr) sugar
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 5 or 6 large lemons)
  • *make it 1 cup if you like it sweeter

Instructions

To make the lemon cups:

  1. Slice a really small sliver off one end to create a flat end so the lemon will stand. Make sure not to cut too much or you will end up with a hole.
  2. Slice a lager piece from the other end (the top).
  3. Without squeezing the lemon too much, using a juicer, juice the lemon.
  4. With a spoon scoop out the inside of the lemon, careful not to puncture the lemon especially the bottom part. Strain the lemon juice and flesh, extracting as much juice as possible.
  5. Store the lemon cups in the freezer until ready to use.

To make the mixture:

  1. Pour the water in a saucepan. Add the sugar and heat over medium-high heat, while stirring for 3 to 4 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl, mix in the lemon juice and refrigerate until cold (about 1 hour).

First method – If you own an ice-cream maker:

  1. Pour the lemon mixture into the ice-cream maker bowl. Turn on for about 40 to 45 minutes until creamy and mostly frozen.
  2. Scoop into your lemon cups (or regular cups) and enjoy immediately.

Second method – Without an ice-cream maker:

  1. Pour the water/sugar/lemon juice mixture into a freezer safe dish (large, flat and with lid). Cover and freeze for about 45 to 60 minutes.
  2. With a fork, break up all the ice pieces and mix. Cover and freeze for another 45 to 60 minutes.
  3. And repeat once or twice more: Mix with a fork, scrape the ice pieces loose, fluff up and mix well.
  4. Repeat until the crystal are separate, light and fluffy. And
  5. texture is something in between a sorbet and a slushie.
  6. Serve in lemon cups or any other bowl topped with fresh mint or lemon zest.
Did you make this recipe?

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