Granita, the Italian version of sorbet and a Sicilian favorite, is a semi-frozen slushy made from sugar, water and various flavors. It is granular in texture, easy to make and quite refreshing after a good meal. Italians prefer fruit or a granita after a meal, rather than a complex dessert. Granita can be made of any deliciously ripe fruit.
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound unpeeled ripe peaches
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Mint leaves for garnish
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the peaches and sugar, and simmer gently 30 minutes. Allow the peaches to cool thoroughly in the liquid, and pass the contents of the pan through a fine-mesh strainer, scraping the solids to extract as much pulp as possible. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, and freeze 45 minutes to 1 hour, scraping the ice crystals that form around the edges into the center every 10 minutes with a spatula. The mixture should be of an even, grainy consistency when ready. To serve, scoop the granita into chilled serving glasses and garnish with mint leaves.