This is like a simple lemon sorbet. It is very refreshing and can help you to feel a lot less full after a heavy meal. In Italy, it would be eaten either as a light dessert or just to help you cool off.
200 g (7 oz) granulated sugar
1.6 Iitres (2 ¾ pints) cold water
250 ml (8 11 oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- To make a syrup, place the sugar in 400 ml (14 fl oz) of the water in a pan, bring to the boil, then boil long enough to dissolve all the sugar. Allow to cool, then add the remaining water and the lemon juice. Stir well and pour into a shallow aluminium pan (a cake tin is perfect). Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the pan, breaking up the part that has solidified and blending it into that which is still liquid.
- Repeat this process every 30 minutes until the granita has become a fairly firm, flaky slush.
- Remove the granita from the pan and ideally serve it at once. If you are not eating it immediately, transfer it to a sealable glass or plastic container.
If you leave it too long in the metal container it will ‘burn’ – that is the water will separate and form ice crystals.