Come and see for yourself how easy it is to make this refreshing Homemade Italian Lemon Ice. No fancy ice cream machine required. The only tool you need is a fork and you’ll be rewarded with a tangy refreshing treat to help beat that summer heat.
Homemade Italian Lemon Ice can also be referred to as Granita. Sicilians figured out a long time ago that when you combine water, sugar and different flavorings (the most popular being coffee and lemons, both found in abundance in Sicily) you end up with a totally refreshing light dessert. This dish can also be used as a palate cleanser between courses. My loyalty and obsession with lemons left me no choice but to flavour it with lemon this time… perhaps I’ll try the coffee Granita during the next heat wave. If you have some Limoncello, you can drizzle a little over the top, or if you prefer, you can always drizzle a little rum…did someone say mojito? 🙂
The texture of this Homemade Italian Lemon Ice can vary from being extremely coarse to smooth. The smoother consistency will be the result of constant agitation. The idea is that you want to produce individual ice crystals. This is how it’s done, in 5 easy steps.
First easy step: Prepare your ingredients; rinse your lemons and mint leaves; peel, zest and squeeze your lemons.
Second easy step: Combine the sugar and water to make your simple syrup by simmering and stirring for approximately 5 minutes. This will ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved.
Third easy step: Remove mixture from burner; add lemon peel, zest and mint leaves and allow to steep for about 15-20 minutes.
Fourth easy step: Remove lemon peel and mint; add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and pour the mixture in a tray or pan (I use a metal loaf pan).
Fifth easy step: Place pan in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes. Stir the mixture with a fork to break up the formation of ice. Make sure to break up the ice in the corners. Repeat every 30 minutes for the next three to four hours.
Origins of the Recipe for Homemade Italian Lemon Ice:
Recently, my husband was watching the Sandwich King on the Food channel. The episode was called Chicago Street Food and one of the recipes featured was Italian Lemonade. My mouth started watering immediately and so I had no choice but to go buy some organic lemons and start squeezing!
This recipe for Homemade Italian Lemon Ice is sure to become a summer staple in your household, as it is well on its way to being one in mine!
Homemade Italian Lemon Ice
- 1 cup water filtered or bottled
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup granulated sugar based on personal preference
- pinch salt
- lemon peel of 1 organic lemon
- lemon zest of 1 organic lemon
- 10-12 mint leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice from 3-4 organic lemons
- Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved (approx. 5 minutes.)
- Remove from burner.
- Add lemon peel, zest and mint leaves and allow to steep for about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove lemon peel and mint leaves (the grated zest will provide for a nice texture.)
- Stir in the lemon juice.
- Pour liquid in a shallow stainless steel pan.
- Place in freezer and stir to break up the ice every 30 minutes for 3-4 hours. The consistency should be granular but still slushy.
- Serve immediately in chilled bowls.
To speed up the freezing process, place your empty pan in the freezer, while you are prepping the lemons. Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used. *recipe adapted from Sandwich King
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Ciao for now!