There are not many things that are more satisfying than diving into an icy bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day. A couple years ago, I was in Italy and discovered the Almond Granita. This is an Italian dessert that’s an icy treat with a strong essence of sweet almond.
Almond Granita is made with only 4 ingredients and no special equipment. Not a fan of almonds? No worries, I’ve outlined how to make a granita out of any fruit at the bottom of this post.
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Almond Granita Recipe
- Heat 2 cups unsweetened almond milk in a sauce pot over medium heat until steaming.
- Add 2/3 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon almond extract, and 1/4 cup almond paste (not marzipan). Stir until dissolved, about 3-5 minutes.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a shallow baking dish (cake pan or casserole dish) and freeze. (Discard any solids caught in the sieve).
- Every 30 minutes scrape with a fork until you achieve a firm semi frozen granita.
- Top with toasted almond slivers (optional) and/or chocolate sauce (also optional.)
This can be made 3 days ahead. Make sure it’s covered tightly with tin foil. Before serving, fluff it up by scraping it with a fork.
What to Serve with Almond Granita
Ready to serve it up? Well, if this is going to be for dessert, spoon the granita into a martini glass. Or eat it like Italians do: have it for breakfast in a bowl with an espresso and a Sicilian brioche!
How to Make Granita with any fruit or with chocolate
What makes this easy homemade icy treat so much fun is how versatile it is. Here’s the basic formula.
- Mix together 1 1/2 cups HOT water with 3/4 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add 3 cups fruit, the sugar water (simple syrup), and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice* into a blender and blend on highest speed until pureed.
- Pour puree into a metal baking pan and freeze.
- Every 30 minutes scrape with a fork until you get a firm icy granita.
Only add lemon juice to fruit granitas. It’s not needed for chocolate ones.
This is an excellent recipe to play with flavors. Get creative and have FUN! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Pineapple Basil – 3 cup pineapple and 4 basil leave minced.
- Strawberry – 3 cups fruit
- Strawberry Jalapeño – (Most Favorite!) 3 cups strawberries and 1 jalapeño (seeded and veins removed ~ WEAR GLOVES!) Finely mince the jalapeño.
- Chocolate Cardamom – Omit lemon juice, add 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
If you’re ever looking for flavor inspiration, I can not recommend The Flavor Bible high enough. This is an easy to use, at your finger tip, reference guide that quickly helps you find brilliant combinations. Fabulous, simply fabulous!