International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Granita al Limone

Granita al limone vendor in Amalfi, Italy

(Italian lemon ice)

Image by Leandro Ciuffo

Average: 5 (3 votes)

Popular in Sicily and with a rougher texture than sorbetto, the Italian ice called granita is an easy-to-fix palate cleanser or finish for any summer meal. You don't need special equipment or skills to make this lemony sweet. Just a fork and a freezer.

6 to 8 servings


  • Water -- 3 cups
  • Sugar -- 1 1/2 cups
  • Fresh lemon juice -- 1 cup


  1. Bring 1 cup of the water and the sugar to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue boiling for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let to cool.
  2. Stir in the remaining water and lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a glass baking dish and set in the freezer for on or tow hours until it starts to get slushy.
  3. Stir well with a fork, breaking up any large chunks of ice or ice crystals. Repeat this process every 20 minutes or so until the granita is frozen solid.
  4. Place scoops in small glasses or dessert bowls and serve.

Granita Variations

Let your imagination run free. There are so many options. Here are a few of the more common variations:

  • Granita alla Arancia (Orange Granita): 1/4 cup water; 1/2 cup sugar; 2 tablespoons lemon juice; 3 cups of orange juice. Boil the water and sugar only long enough to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the orange lemon juice. Freeze as for lemon granita. Add a couple tablespoons of orange-flavored liqueur for a luxurious twist.
  • Granita al Caffè (Coffee Granita): Use 4 cups of strong black coffee or espresso and 1 cup sugar. Boil 1 cup of the coffee with the sugar only long enough to dissolve the sugar, then stir in the remaining coffee. Freeze as for lemon granita. Top with whipped cream. Add a couple tablespoons of coffee-flavored liqueur for an extra special touch.
  • Granita di Fragole (Strawberry Granita): 1 cup of water; 3/4 cup sugar; 1 pound strawberries, hulled and pureed; 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Boil the water and sugar as for the lemon granita. Stir in the strawberry puree and lemon juice. Freeze as for lemon granita.


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