It’s hot – yes, that stupid Global Warming is hard at work here in Florida! Good thing it’s still watermelon season. Because there’s really nothing quite like watermelon in the summer. It’s not something you can get year round (not that you’d actually want to if you could). I mean, you can’t can it or make it into some kind of jam to open in another 4 months and still smell the sunshine. I know there are people who make watermelon jelly, and people who pickle it….um, no thank you. There’s something about cooking melons that just turns my stomach. It becomes something completely different – and somewhat unpleasant to me. I want it cool and fruity – like I just cut it. So, that leaves, the freezer. I love sorbet, but I don’t have an ice cream maker. What’s next, granita…ooo, yes. I’ve seen cooks do that on tv and it looks so simple. Then I cruised the Net for some ideas. I stumbled upon a few recipes that include vodka…hey, now we’re talkin’! Years ago my husband an I had a friend who spouted that ‘real drinkers keep their vodka in the freezer.‘ You know, there’s something to that. It keeps things from freezing too hard as well. But everybody puts vodka in stuff…I wanted to mix things up a bit. Seeing as granita is honestly an Italian dish, and includes lime juice, why not use an Italian liquor? Italians keep limoncello in their freezer for a super cool summer sip. …and I just happen to have some….let’s go make some Limoncello Scented Watermelon Granita (ooo, sounds sophisticated, hee, hee – it’s not)
1 medium watermelon, or just a bowl full chopped up.
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup limoncello
1 (or 2 if they’re small) juiced limes
1 food processor or blender, a pyrex dish or other flat freezer safe vessel, a mixing bowl. And a freezer – make a space!
Get the melon chopped. Depending on the melon and how many over heated kids you have running in and out of the house, you may only use about half of it.
Give the melon a whirl. Work in batches. I made mine into a puree, but there were some dime sized chunks, and that’s fine with me.
Mix the other ingredients into the melon puree. The sugar will dissolve, just give it a stir.
Scoop it into the flat dish.
I had some extra that wouldn’t fit in the dish. That bit I put into another bowl and decided to add even more rum (about a cup in about 4 cups of melon mix). You’ve seen those ‘buckets-o-booze’ at the store. The one with the sugar water based flavor stuff that you add an entire bottle of tequila or whatever and then freeze it for margaritas or daiquiris’. Oh, yea. So, this is a slightly more healthy version, because there’s no HFCS or artificial colors…..just fruit and booze. Oooo, I’m all a tingle!
Now, cover it with plastic wrap and get it in the freezer. In about an hour or so, check it and scrape it with a fork. Like a grown-up Slurpee! (hurry freezer – I’m soooo hot here!…and not in a good way)
No, this isn’t a shot from NASA of the surface of the red planet…this is cool fruity heaven right here on Earth! And because it’s frozen, you could keep it way longer than any fresh watermelon would survive in the fridge.
Finally, and not too soon, it’s done…super cool, incredibly watermelony (is that a word? – it is now!) As I sample it, you can taste the limoncello. It’s very subtle though, and it’s really an after taste. One of those things that make you smile, but you have to ask “What’s in this?” Summer baby – that’s what’s in it!
Michelle @ www.badzoot.com