Melons are probably some of the most refreshing summer fruits that you can eat. They’re mostly made up of water and a ripe one can have a tremendous amount of flavor without being too sweet. Watermelon is a picnic staple and honeydew is another favorite of mine, although there are lots of other great melons out there, as well. Melons are not great for baking due to their high water content, but they can be turned into frozen desserts easily, making them even more refreshing than usual.
This Honewdew Granita is an easy to make way to enjoy honeydew that just might be better than eating plain melon, especially on a hot day. The granita starts by blending together ripe melon, sugar and a little bit of water in a blender or food processor until the mixture is extremely smooth and the sugar has been dissolved. Then, the mixture is frozen solid and served. It couldn’t be much easier than that! The sugar in the granita amplifies the natural sweetness of the honeydew without overpowering it, leading to a dessert that is packed with melon flavor and will cool you down on the first bite.
A perfectly ripe, sweet honewdew is going to give you the best results in a recipe like this one because it will have the most flavor. That said, you can easily add a little extra sweetness to a less-than-perfect melon by simply adding a little bit more sugar to your base before freezing and still get great results.
While some granitas have an icy, coarse texture, this granita is surprisingly smooth. This is because most granitas are made with juice as their base and this one uses the whole fruit. Adding the pulp of the fruit to the granita keeps the mixture from becoming too icy and allows the finished dessert to have a smooth texture that is a lot like sorbet. You can actually scoop this with an ice cream scoop, but I prefer to go with a traditional granita look by scraping the frozen mixture out with a spoon into a snow cone-like texture that melts in your mouth.
8 cups coarsely chopped honeydew melon
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until very smooth, 2-3 minutes.
Pour into a flat, shallow dish (a pyrex baking or casserole dish is a great choice) and place the dish flat in the freezer.
Stir granita once every 30-40 minutes to distribute the ice crystals. When granita is almost entirely frozen, about 2-3 hours, it can be scraped out with a large spoon into serving dishes.
Granita can also be stored in the freezer, covered, for at least a week if you want to make it in advance.