Cookbook Profile

Lemon Ice

Granita al Limone
Makes about 1 quart


The lemon groves in the fertile valley near Palermo called the Conca d'Oro were planted over a thousand years ago by Arab farmers, and there they grow today. Sicilians will tell you it's the hot Mediterranean sun that makes their lemons sing, or maybe it's the soil. In any case, Sicilians love their lemons. You can spot a Sicilian by the way they eat one. A true Siculo sprinkles it with salt and eats it plain. Just like that. During the summer, a typical Sicilian breakfast consists of lemon granita (or gelato) piled into a soft, sweet bun called a brioscia and eaten out of hand. I can't think of anything better than strolling down to the beach in Lipari on a summer morning with my lemon granita from Bar Oscar.


1-1/2 cups sugar
4 cups water
Grated zest of 3 lemons
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
   (from 4 to 6 lemons)


Have ready a 9 by 13-inch non-reactive metal pan.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, and zest and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Add the lemon juice to the sugar syrup and pour it into the metal pan. Freeze for 30 minutes, or until ice crystals begin to form around the edges of the pan. with a fork, stir the crystals back into the liquid and return the pan to the freezer. Repeat every 20 minutes or so until the granita is completely frozen and slushy. This should take about 2 hours.

Buy the Book!


Sweet Sicily
The Story of an Island and Her Pastries

By Victoria Granof
ReganBooks/HarperCollinsPublishers; August 2001
Hardback, $35.00
Color photographs throughout, 224 pages
ISBN: 0-06-039323-8
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Sweet Sicily



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This page created November 2001