Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Watermelon Granita

Hamlet was a good production- I liked it very much (and I might even go again). However, on the day we went there were about a million boy scouts in Forest Park, tents and all!
I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it.
It was hard to find a place to park, but luckily all those 10-13 year old boys did not attend the play (otherwise no one would be able to see). I don't think the boy scouts would have been too interested in Hamlet anyway. They weren't speaking REAL English, there wasn't enough action and there was too much drama!

Although there weren't boy scouts present, watermelon granita went to see Hamlet. With me.
And we became friends. It's a refreshing sort of friend to have- cold, slushy, and not too sweet (sweet is not always so great on hot days).

I read somewhere about someone making something out of watermelon (I know I'm terribly specific here- sorry, I can't remember everything)... but they mentioned that it didn't taste as watermelon-y as it should have. They attempted several times with different adaptations, but it was never quite right.
Then whoever this person was decided to make it with some ground-up seeds... and it was perfect.

Additionally, the seeds make it LOOK like watermelon.
Sadly, due to my inattentiveness, I bought a seedless watermelon. Bad news.
BUT, if I HAD bought a watermelon with actual seeds, I would have used said seeds.

Watermelon seeds are edible and some people DO eat all the seeds (others prefer to have seed spitting contests). Apple seeds are apparently not so edible. It's something a co-worker mentioned at one point and none of us had ever heard of it. They contain cyanide!
Swallowing isn't as much a problem as chewing them, but you'd probably be unlikely to ingest as many as you would need to cause an accidental fatality in one sitting.
I don't think you'll be flirting with death here people, but if you find it death-defying to swallow apple seeds be my guest.

The recipe is easily scaled down... what you do is dependent on freezer space. It has great color, and it's a very light and refreshing dessert (or midafternoon snack).
I think next time I may try with lime juice, lime wedges for serving, and tequila instead... maybe a little salt, too?

Watermelon Granita

Approximately 10 cups watermelon (pink part only, cut into cubes and frozen on a sheet pan at least several hours or overnight)
1/2 cup vodka (so the watermelon does not freeze solid!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 T lemon juice

Make a simple syrup: combine equal parts sugar and water. Heat in small saucepan until sugar melts. Simmer 2 minutes, remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Place half of frozen watermelon in food processor fitted with blade. Add half of sugar syrup, 1/4 c vodka, and 2 T lemon juice. Process until watermelon is broken down and the mixture is slushy and well combined. Pour into 9x13 inch pan. Repeat process with remaining ingredients. Stir both batches together in the pan and place in freezer until ready to eat.

Watermelon granita is best the day it's made, as it remains more slushy than solid. However, if you want to save it you could leave it out to thaw a little before serving.

If you plan to wait a while to eat the granita, you may want to stir it and break up the large clumps of ice occasionally.

If didn't happen to find a very sweet watermelon and you would like it sweeter, you could make extra simple syrup and drizzle the granita with the syrup before serving (I currently don't know what extra syrup added to the granita in the food processor might do to the consistency of the finished granita, so I won't recommend it right now).


  1. How did you like this ---it looks so good.

  2. I liked it, but as I said it wasn't too sweet. This was partially due to the particular watermelon I chose- which could be remedied with extra sugar syrup. OR you could serve it with vanilla ice cream or different sorbets...