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Minty Melon Granita

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Serves 4 to 6

  • by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Desserts 4 Today

There's nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than this simple granita. Use any type of melon that's fresh or in season. If you have an ice cream maker and want to speed things up, you can also make it as a sorbet (see variation below).

Watch Abby make this melon granita.

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 small ripe melon (4 lb.)
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish 
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

Arrange a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or 9 1/2-cup rectangular plastic container in the freezer, making sure it’s level and secure. Put the sugar and 1 cup water into a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool completely or refrigerate for up to 1 day. For faster cooling, set the bowl over a bowl filled with ice and stir occasionally until well chilled.

Cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut the flesh into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Pile the melon into a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute (you’ll have about 2-1/2 cups). Add the fruit puree to the sugar syrup along with the mint, lime juice, and a pinch of salt and stir until blended. Set aside to cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled or for up to 1 day. For faster cooling, set the bowl over a bowl filled with ice and stir occasionally until well chilled.

Pour the chilled mixture into the baking dish and freeze for about 2 hours. After that, every 30 minutes, stir, smash and scrape the mixture with a table fork until the ice crystals are loose and frozen. Serve garnished with mint sprigs.

Variations

To make a sorbet: have ready an ice cream maker. Follow the directions for making the mixture. Arrange a 4-1/2 x 8-1/4-inch loaf pan in the freezer, making sure it’s level and secure. Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately (it will be soft) or scrape into the chilled loaf pan, cover, and freeze until firm or for up to 2 days.

Photo: Kate Sears

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