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Watermelon and Tea Granita

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Serves 8

  • by Samantha Seneviratne from Fine Cooking
    Issue 111

On a hot summer night, few desserts are as welcome as a granita, a frozen mixture of water, sugar, fruit juice, and in this case, tea. For the best results, use only the reddest parts of the watermelon, not the paler flesh near the rind

  • 1/4 vanilla bean
  • 1 Tbs. good-quality loose black tea, such as English Breakfast
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 3 cups puréed watermelon (from about 4 cups diced, seeded watermelon)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Put the vanilla seeds and tea in a small bowl (save the pod for another use). Add the boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and stir gently to dissolve.

In a large bowl, combine the watermelon purée, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Strain the tea mixture into the watermelon mixture and stir to combine. Pour into a 9x9-inch metal baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze. After 1 hour, stir and scrape the mixture with a fork, repeating every 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture has an icy shard-like consistency, about 3-1/2 hours total.

To serve, scrape the granita into chilled bowls, and top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream (if using).

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 35; Fat (g): 0; Fat Calories (kcal): 0; Saturated Fat (g): 0; Protein (g): 0; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0; Carbohydrates (g): 9; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 35; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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