Learn how to make authentic strawberry Sicilian granita at home, and enjoy one of the best Italian summer treats! Granita is also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan!
Granita is a staple of Sicilian cuisine. Similar to sorbet, this refreshing frozen treat has a unique complex icy texture, and you can easily make it at home with just 4 ingredients, including your favourite fruit!
Granita is also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. So, if you’re looking for the perfect summer treat to serve to your family and friends, look no further than awesome, refreshing Sicilian granita!
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SICILIAN GRANITA & SORBETTO
Although they have the same basic ingredients, water -sugar- flavour, the differences between granita and sorbet lay in the sugar quantities used in proportion with the liquid and the freezing method.
Sorbet has a creamy, smooth almost ice cream-like consistency, prepared with a relatively high proportion of sugar to liquid.
Granita has less sugar to liquid, is frozen in a large freezer-safe pan in the freezer section of your refrigerator .
It’s then stirred with a rubber spatula or raked with the tines of a fork about every 30 minutes to yield large, coarse ice crystals.
You can also make it in an ice-cream maker to reach a velvety, creamy result.
SICILIAN GRANITA: TWO DIFFERENT TEXTURES
The authentic Sicilian granita has two different kinds of texture depending on the flavour of your choice.
For lemon granita and in general when only juice/liquid (ie. coffee, chocolate flavors) is used, you’re looking for a grainy ice consistency.
For granita made with fruit pulp or nuts (ie. strawberry, peach, almond or pistachio) you want to reach a creamier sorbet-like texture that it’s not too icy and gently melts in your mouth.
Another name for this particular creamy granita is cremolata.
How To Make Creamy Sicilian Granita
Today I’ll focus on cremolata-style granita, showing you how to make a perfect strawberry granita at home with or without ice cream maker.
You can use the same method with different pulpy fruits ( or nuts).
To reach the perfect creaminess at home you can either use an ice cream machine, as I did, or not, it’s impressively easy by “hand” too.
All you need to make Sicilian granita at home is 4 simple ingredients:
- 1 liter water
- 600 gr strawberries (or any other fruit you like)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 200 gr sugar
How To Make Sicilian Granita Without An Ice-Cream Maker
1. In a large blender add half the strawberries and water and blend until pureed.
Fold in the remaining strawberries and water, add sugar and lemon juice and blend until creamy and well combined.
2. Transfer the granita mixture into a large metal container ( it will shorten freezing times than using a plastic one) cover and put in the freezer.
3. Refrigerate for half an hour, then stir vigorously the mixture to break any ice crystals.
Repeat every 30 mins, for 2-3 times, or until your granita has reached a velvety sorbet-like texture. Alternatively, you can blend the mixture with a hand blender every 30 min.
How To Make Sicilian Granita With An Ice-cream Maker
1. Follow the first step of the Sicilian granita recipe without an ice cream maker, then transfer the granita mixture into the refrigerated ice cream maker bucket.
Start the machine and allow it to work the mixture for 30 min or until it reaches a creamy sorbet-like icy texture.
Serve your Sicilian granita with a soft brioche bun or make your own original Sicilian brioche.
How To Store Your Granita
Eat granita straight away as soon as it’s ready, for the best texture and flavour.
Alternatively, you can store your granita in the freezer for up to 1 day and let it defrost for about 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.
Make This Granita Recipe With Any Fruit
You can make granita in loads of different flavours from coffee, pistachio, almond to traditional Sicilian lemon.
If you want to make a fruit granita, follow the recipe below and use any fruit you like. Here’s a list of the best fruit to use:
Peach or Nectarine
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook! Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!
How To Make Strawberry Sicilian Granita
- 1 lt water
- 600 gr fresh strawberries, chopped (21 oz)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 200 gr caster sugar (7 oz)
- In a large blender add half the strawberries and half the water and blend until pureed.
- Fold in the remaining strawberries and water, add the sugar and lemon juice and blend until creamy and well combined.
- Transfer the granita mixture into a large metal container ( it will shorten freezing times than using a plastic one) cover, and transfer in the freezer.
- Refrigerate for half an hour, then stir vigorously the mixture to break any ice crystals.
- Repeat every 30 minutes, for 2-3 times, or until your granita has reached a velvety sorbet-like texture. Alternatively, you can blend the mixture with a hand blender every 45 min.
- For the ice cream maker version:
- Follow step 1.
- Transfer the granita mixture into a cooled ice cream maker bucket.
- Start the machine and allow it to work the mixture for 30 min or until it reaches a creamy sorbet-like icy texture.
- Once ready, it's best to eat your granita straight away.
This post was originally published in June 2015 and updated with more info and photos.