Granita Homemade

granita caffe

Granita is definitely the most refreshing, delicate thirst-quenching treat you may ever taste. One word: delicious! It represents one of the most tempting Sicilian treats along with cassata, ricotta cheese cannoli, and geli, I am going to talk about those later on. But now, it is granita time. Yummy! So, let’s, get started!

To be honest, if you were on vacation in Sicily, you would not have granita, but you would enjoy granita-and-brioche. They always come together as Laurel and Hardy: granita must be savored with “brioche con il tuppo” or, more simply, with a slice of durum wheat semolina bread. Of course, if you do want to enjoy granita on its own, you are given a glass full of this magnificent delicacy to satisfy your cravings, but, you know, brioche will get very sad…

What is granita?

Granita is made from water, sugar, and fruit; the mixture is slowly frozen: it is repeatedly mixed with a fork just before getting completely frozen in order to separate the crystals: this stirring process gives Sicilian granita its peculiar creamy thick texture.

a little of history of granita

In the past, granita used to be made from the snow which was gathered on the volcano Etna, or on other Sicilian mounts; the snow was stored in designated areas called “niviere” (icy-caves), natural caves where the temperature was quite constant all the year. The snow gradually turned into ice; during the summer, the surface of the ice was scraped to obtain crystals; little sea salt was added to keep the temperature low. So, a small well of snow and salt was created where a steel container was inserted and continuously rotated to make creamy granita. 

For Sicilian people granita makes a thirst-quenching afternoon snack or a special dessert which may replace sorbet.  Moreover, it is also very commonly paired with some coffee for a very scrumptious breakfast.

Soft, cold, yet it is not ice: a creamy silky delicacy which may come in plenty of flavors, but the genuine one is lemon granita. Unbeatable! Enjoy its countless flavors: strawberry, coffee, almond, pistachio-nut (very tempting), chocolate and mint, and so on. You will be spoilt for choice.

granita caffe

You think it is difficult to make, don’t you?

Not at all, indeed! Although you don’t have the ice cream maker (which is good because hand stirred granita according to my method is much better), you will prepare some really toothsome cream. Get used to making it, because tasted once, you will never be able to do without this addictive treat! Warning: if you offer it to your friends, they will show up all the time to enjoy big glasses of granita!

You don’t need much: water, sugar, and your favorite flavors. Then a big steel bowl and a whisk with rigid wire loops, and a freezer. That’s all!   

Granita or sorbet? Don’t be mistaken!

Do you know how granita is different from sorbet? Frozen compact (without air) dessert, granita shows coarser texture, and strong flavors. Whereas, sorbet has a finer texture: during the cooling process it must incorporate as much air as possible, that’s why a stiff-peak beaten egg white is added to the ingredient list. Sorbet can be enriched with wine, or liquor such as spumante (sparkling wine) or limoncello. 

pick you fav flavor

  • lemon: it must be organic, sweet, sun-ripened and not sour at all. The sweeter, the better!
  • citrus fruit (orange or tangerine): either common orange or blood orange fits the recipes well. Follow the same recipe as the lemon granita.
  • mulberries and lemon: this combination belongs to the most genuine Sicilian tradition. Mulberries are similar to blackberries- their sweet taste wonderfully pairs with the sourness of the lemon. This is my recipe: squeeze 200g of mulberries or blackberries; sieve the obtained liquid and combine it with 50ml of lemon juice;
  • strawberries, melon, water melon: delicious … wonderful fruits which make a wild good granita. You need about 250ml of well-sieved fruit purée;
  • coffee- very short high-quality coffee (Illy or Volluto by Nespresso). You need about 250ml of coffee and 600g of sugar (if sugar can’t dissolve. Add some water: warm the compound slightly, it must never boil);
  • almond or pistachio-nuts: you need about 300ml of almond or pistachio-nut milk; find the recipe below. Stir and mix thoroughly every 30 minutes for a softer and creamier texture. 
granita caffe
granita caffe
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Homemade Granita

This is the well-known caffè granita recipe.
Prep Time10 minutes
Resting time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 l water
  • 500 gr caster sugar 
  • 250 ml coffe


  • In a big wide bowl put the sugar and then pour the room temperature water a little at a time.
  • Combine well with a whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Pour the coffee into the bowl
  • Mix everything well; use a hand mixer to make it even smoother.
  • Put the bowl into the freezer (I have got an upright one, very comfortable).
  • During the freezing process, stir granita using a fork or a whisk to break any ice chucks.
  • Stir granita every hour until it gets fluffy, finely-iced and creamy, ready to be enjoyed!


Calories: 1kcal | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.01g | Saturated Fat: 0.003g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 31mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.01mg
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