Cantaloupe-Basil Granita is a refreshing treat to have on hand to help wrap up the summer season. It’s easy to make and fun to serve at any warm-weather gathering.
The summer season sort of requires that you have frozen treats on hand, dontcha think? I do, and that’s why I love to try all sorts of them. Cantaloupe-Basil Granita is definitely refreshing, and the pop of earthy basil adds a fun touch.
I may have mentioned before that I don’t have room in my kitchen cupboards for an ice cream maker (Update: Since writing this post, I’ve cleaned out my cupboards and purchased an ice cream maker). Some of my cupboards are filled to the brim, and opening them requires extreme caution. Sometimes I forget how full they are, which can be quite hazardous.
But even without an ice cream maker, I’m still able to make a few frozen desserts like Peach and Thyme Semifreddo, No-Churn Orange-Cardamom Ice Cream, or No-Churn Lemon Pie Ice Cream that are no fuss, like Cantaloupe-Basil Granita. All you really need to make this icy treat is some fresh fruit and a freezer.
Granita is a frozen Italian dessert, but quite different from cold, creamy and delightful gelato. Granita is made with water, juice from fruit, and a sugar syrup. You mix it together, pop it in the freezer, and scrape it around several times as it forms ice crystals over a few hours. Think of it as a chunkier, sophisticated slushy, easily made with fresh fruit and no telltale, convenience-store acquired blue tongue!
Summer and melons go together like ice cream and cones, am I right? Can you imagine that we grow really great melons in Arizona? Strange to think about, but it’s true. I don’t personally grow them, but good ones are easy to come by for me. It’s a great time of year to give this dessert a try.
Cantaloupe-Basil Granita to serve on a hot summer day or as dessert after a special dinner. Try it this weekend!
Patricia Conte/Grab a Plate
Serves Serves 4
5 based on 2 review(s)
- 1 cantaloupe, seeds and rind removed, and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-3 tablespoons honey (based on how sweet your fruit is)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 basil leaves, divided, plus extra for optional garnish
- Add the water, honey, lemon juice, and two basil leaves to a saucepan over high heat. Use a spoon to press down on the basil leaves a few times to help release their flavor.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat, remove and discard the basil leaves, and allow the mixture to cool.
- Add the cantaloupe and the liquid mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Add the two remaining basil leaves, and blend again until they’re incorporated into the mixture.
- Place the mixture into a shallow glass pan and place in the freezer.
- After an hour, remove the pan and use a fork to scrape the mixture around. It should have begun to freeze by this point, but may still be in a fairly liquid state. Place the pan back in the freezer.
- Repeat this process after another hour, and repeat hourly, as needed, until you reach your desired consistency (you may want to leave yourself several hours of freezing time before you want to serve the granita).
- Serve in individual bowls, and garnish with basil leaves if you’d like.