It’s summer, and it’s the perfect time to make Italian ice, and it’s always a good time for Limoncello. This Limoncello Granita recipe is simple, and it can be made with or without the Limoncello or with a fruity white wine. Watermelon, mango, or other summer fruits are good substitutes for the lemon. You can dress up the dessert by serving the ice in champagne flutes, but I like to serve these in chilled lemon shells for a quick poolside snack.
Limoncello Granita Recipe
- 2 tablespoons of Limoncello
- 1½ cups water
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon rind
- 2 large egg whites room temperature
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- chilled lemon shells
To make chilled lemon shells
- Cut 3 large lemons horizontally. Scoop out the inside of each half and reserve for lemon juice. Freeze lemon shell halves until ready to use.
To make granita
- Add Limoncello, water, and 1½ cups sugar in small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved and syrup boils. Cover pan and boil for about one minute. Remove cover, and reduce heat until syrup mixture simmers. Cook at a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. When mixture cools down, chill in refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Stir lemon juice and chopped lemon rind into cooled syrup. Pour into an 11 x 17-inch metal baking pan, or a size that will fit in your freezer. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Stir ice mixture with fork breaking up crystals. Freeze until firm but not solid, about 30 minutes longer. Stir mixture with a fork to slush ice crystals. Return to freezer.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add the remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar is dissolved and soft peaks form.
- Remove ice mixture from the freezer. Stir with a fork to slush mixture, and add to egg whites.
- Return to pan, spread evenly, and freeze for at least 4 hours.
- Scoop frozen mixture with a small melon scoop and fill chilled lemon shells or dessert glasses. You can also wrap the filled lemon shells and freeze to enjoy later.
This granita can be made with or without the Limoncello. We make our own Limoncello, but you can pick it up at most liquor stores. Instead of adding the Limoncello to the syrup mixture, my dad likes to pour a shot or two of ice-cold Limoncello over the frozen granita shortly before serving.