Complain about the weather and watch me roll my eyes. But this summer, I get it. I am complaining, too. It’s been a million degrees every day this past month in St. Louis. When the sun isn’t blazing, rain is pouring. And before it got hot, we had tornadoes every other week.
Yes, I am tired of it.
How hot was it this week? I’ll spare you the triple-digit heat index. It was so hot that a colleague of mine baked two dozen cookies in her car outside the paper. It was so hot that the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market was packed before 8:30 a.m. It was so hot that Gabi hasn’t gotten to splash around in her wading pool since the beginning of July.
When it’s 100-plus degrees, it’s almost too hot for ice cream. Sorbet or granita is better. Both are lighter, cleaner, stronger. This weekend, watermelon granita fit the bill.
Granita is an Italian semi-frozen dessert made from water, sugar, and fruit. First you make a simple syrup. Then puree the fruit in a blender. Combine the two in a metal baking dish, freeze, stir with a fork after a few hours and sha-bam. You have granita. If you need to, put it on the counter for a few minutes to thaw a bit before serving.
I love this recipe. If you love watermelon like my toddler and I do, then you will too.
For extra indulgence, drizzle a half-teaspoon of Campari over your bowl of granita. The result is an adult icee that will make you feel better about the heat.
adapted from Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 to 2 teaspoons Campari (optional)
Heat sugar and water in a heavy small saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Cool.
Puree the watermelon in a blender. Measure out two cups of puree. Stir in sugar syrups and lime juice. Pour into 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan. Freeze 2 hours. Stir with a fork, then freeze until solid, about 3 hours. Using for, scrape granita to form crystals. Spoon into bowls. Drizzle 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Campari over each.