In hot weather, I will take my frozen desserts any which way. Ice cream, frozen yogurt, semifreddo, ice pops, sandwiches, sorbet. It’s all good — great even. However, these all fall under “things many people tend to eat out on a sweltering summer day rather than make at home.” (Watch this space for some big Ice Cream Content this summer on Voraciously.)
So, let’s talk about granita. Usually dairy-free, this Italian-in-origin, frozen (or semi-frozen) dessert is coarser — read: icier — than, say, ice cream. Making granita is as simple as putting together a syrup or puree, and then doing a few rounds of freezing and scraping with a fork to get a fluffy texture, no ice cream machine required! Granitas also give off an air of casual sophistication (Oh, this little thing? I just threw it together!) making them a perfect summer dessert. Whether your flavor interests run toward fruit, coffee or booze, we’ve got a recipe from our archives for you.
Piña Colada Granita, above. If you like piña coladas . . . then you’re going to love this granita with its tropical flavor and a texture that is creamier than your typical granita, thanks to cream of coconut. The optional rum on the bottom of the glass puts it over the top in the best way.
St-Germain Granita. Take a cue from the French and enjoy this as a cocktail and dessert in one. If you haven’t had it, St-Germain is a delightful liqueur made with elderflower, which is not as floral as you might think. For one expert I talked to about my Royal Wedding Cake that called for St-Germain, elderflower evokes the flavors of wine and citrus.
Rhubarb + Strawberry Granita. It’s the classic pie flavor combination in a totally different format. The color means the granita will be a festive addition to any summer party.
Sunrise Granita. Slices of blood orange give this layered dessert extra visual panache.
Zuni Cafe Espresso Granita With Whipped Cream. Iced coffee gets a whole new meaning with this recipe from the beloved San Francisco restaurant.
Watermelon Basil Granita With Poblano Granita. Here’s another optical illusion, which is two recipes in one. A zesty poblano granita (spinach gives it extra color) is topped with a fruity, herbal watermelon granita. After your guests have had time to admire the dramatic presentation, add a splash of tequila for a slushy, grown-up treat.
More from Voraciously: