I hope everyone is having a good Labor Day weekend. Whatever you’re doing this holiday, one thing that will be at the center of many picnics and get-togethers will be watermelon. A fresh slice on the unofficial end of summer sounds like it was meant to be. But you could turn it into a frozen treat.
During my recent visit to the University of Minnesota’s kiwi orchard, I was able to buy a few things from the nearby Apple House, also run by the U of M. They had some great Minnesota Alderman plums, apples, and watermelon. I bought them all. Once I got home and cut open the watermelon, I realized it had been through some stress. The flesh had caverns and yellowish discoloration in the middle, but for the most part, it tasted OK. So I turned it into the next best thing, watermelon granita.
This is an easy step into the world of frozen ices, sorbets and granitas. All you need is watermelon, lime juice and sugar. Many granita recipes call for a simple syrup, which is just water and sugar brought to a boil. This helps the granita hold its shape when scooped out of the freezer with an ice cream scoop. But if you don’t mind eating a snowy mound of frozen watermelon deliciousness, do it the easy way.
5 cups peeled and seeded watermelon chunks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Place the watermelon chunks, sugar and lime juice in a blender or food processor, replace the top, and blend on high speed until very smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a 13x9 Pyrex baking dish and freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove from the freezer and use a fork to scrape any ice crystals from the sides of the bowl. Stir to incorporate and return to the freezer.
Repeat this scraping procedure every 30 minutes, or until the consistency is "snowy" when scraped with a fork or spoon, at least 4 hours. Then scoop into bowls or dessert glasses and serve.