Groovy Granita: Orange Flesh Melon

We’ve had a mini-flash heat wave for the past couple of days. and I’ve been craving ice cold refreshment. I made this totally impromtu and delightful granita. It was extraordinarily easy, but it does require the use of a good juicer to remove as much pulp as possible from the melon juice. You need pure, sweet juice from very ripe melons for this granita to have a robust, fruity flavor. I wanted to make a dessert without the addition of any sugar, and so at the market I picked the ripest, most fragrant melon I could find. It turned out to be a variant of honeydew, with huge sugar and vibrant orange flesh. Yummy on its own au natural, this melon was even better frozen!

Sweet and flaky ice crystals make for a soothing fruit slush.

I juiced about one and half large melons, which yielded about five cups of juice. Next, I skimmed off the foam that collected on top. I chilled the juice for about an hour in the fridge and then strained it through cheesecloth to remove any additional pulp. Into a pyrex baking dish (any shallow baking pan with a 2 1/2-inch lip will do) I poured the juice; I put the uncovered dish in the freezer on a level shelf.

An hour later I checked out my granita. It was starting to freeze nicely and ice crystals had formed at the edges, like a pond in early winter. Using a fork I stirred the frozen stuff and moved it around. I checked again in an hour and fluffed it up again with a fork. It was looking pretty good, but not totally frozen. I left it for a few hours more, and at dinner time I dragged a fork through it to scrape up more ice, creating a light, flaky texture.

It was delicious and very cooling. The flavor was fantastic and the color was groovy. 

I haven’t try this yet, but I suspect that this would be great with a splash of white rum or a mild, white tequila. Perhaps with some fresh mint leaf. Maybe next time.

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