Lemon Granita


My all-time favourite (dessert) flavour: lemon. I can’t get enough of it! In fact, I’m eating Liberté lemon yogourt as I’m typing this. One of my friends once told me that you’re either a chocolate or a lemon person (is that true?)—I’m a lemon person all the way!! Gimme a cup of lemon juice, ooh yes. Nah, I’m kidding. I’m not that hardcore but there’s just something about its scent filling the room when you zest or juice a lemon that instantly makes me happy.

I’ve been reading Jeffrey Steingarten’s “The Man Who Ate Everything” for a good eight months now. I don’t know what it is, but it’s taking me forever! The man’s super knowledgeable on all things food…I guess a bit of his “I-know-everything” attitude/humour comes through and I can only take it in small doses.

He’s so thorough in his research, it’s quite intense! That also meant that I can fully trust all the recipes he’s included in his book, such as the one for Lemon Granita that he adapted from Corrado Costanzo. Oh yes, it’s lemon time! I’ll include the version of the recipe that I used, which was with regular yellow lemons (not Meyer lemons).
Lemon Granita (adapted from Corrado Costanzo by Jeffrey Steingarten)
makes about 1 qt (~ 4 cups)

1½ cups             (minus 2 tbsp) superfine sugar 
3½ cups             spring water
3                          lemons (to yield ¾ cup juice)

*He notes that Meyer lemons substitute well for the green summer lemons used in Sicily. Because even that is uncommon here, I opted for just regular lemons.

1. In a 2-qt plastic container (choose one that’s strong and shallow), dissolve the sugar in the water.
2. Zest two of the lemons over the container (be careful not to get any of the white pith into there!)
3. Swish the grater around in the liquid to remove any remaining zest.
4. Juice the lemons and mix into the bowl. Pass mixture through a strainer that’s coarse enough to let a bit of the zest and pulp through.
5. Cover, chill, and freeze.

*Jeffrey outlined 3 different freezing methods, I went with his “favourite way” and the one that we’ve probably all heard of.
6. After the granite mixture has been in the freezer for an hour, remove and scrape down the sides; beat, mash and fluff the ice using a fork until you get a consistent texture.
7. Repeat step 6 after every half hour. After 3-5 hrs the ice will look like crystals, separate from one another and appear somewhat dry.

This was a lot of fun to make! 
Besides being so easy, it was pretty cool to see the granita forming; transforming from slush to fluffy white crystals. 

TIP: I did the coarse straining of the lemon juice before I added it into the container so that I didn’t have to use another bowl. After all, you’re straining to remove excess pulp and seeds, so you don’t really need to strain the entire mixture after everything’s been mixed together. 

The lemon granita makes for a great palette cleanser, cools you down on a hot summer day etc. I made two batches before I left for Victoria last month and forgot about that so imagine my surprise when I got home. LEMON GRANITA FOR ME EVERYONE!! Enjoy!




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