Looking for a super easy summer dessert that will impress? This simple Strawberry Granita has just a few ingredients and lets you showcase fresh summer strawberries!
(This recipe for Strawberry Granita was originally published in September 2011, but was updated with new photos in 2020).
I'm going to be honest here. I'm not quite ready to let go of summer. And you know what? I shouldn't have to since summer doesn't officially even end for another few weeks.
I'm on a constant search for easy desserts to make that utilize fresh summer produce to make for entertaining. Granita couldn't be any easier. This strawberry granita recipe is from David Lebovitz's book The Perfect Scoop (an absolutely awesome resource for any wannabe ice cream makers!).
I decided to halve the recipe from what the book notes, but then realized Lebovitz also has a halved version on his website. Note that you can easily double the recipe I have below; just use a larger dish to freeze it in (I recommend a 9x13).
What is Granita?
I guess we should start by talking about what a granita actually is, right? Granita is a semi-fine frozen Italian dessert that generally consists of water, sugar, and the flavoring of your choice. They're a lot like slushes or Italian ice, but are a bit finer and grainier/coarser. You're literally shaving the ice with a fork as the mixture freezes, so you could also refer to granita as shaved ice.
Granitas are super easy to make as they usually just consist of blending ingredients together and freezing for a bit before chipping away at with a fork. If you use fresh fruit, like in this strawberry granita, you'll need to purée it first.
Unlike lots of other frozen desserts, you don't have to wait long for this one to freeze! You just need to give it about an hour in the freezer before you can start chipping away at it. It will take about 2 hours total in the freezer before it's ready to be enjoyed.
How to Make Strawberry Granita
In a medium bowl, combine strawberries and sugar. Mix until the sugar is just dissolved and the strawberries begin to release their juices.
Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.
Try your BEST not to eat the sugar-covered strawberries since I promise the granita is really worth it!
Combine the strawberries, including their liquid, water, and lemon juice in a blender and puree until smooth.
Pour the mixture through a strainer to eliminate any seeds. I usually use the backside of a mixing spoon to press all of the liquids through the strainer, but this puree was already super smooth and barely anything was left behind.
Then transfer the liquid into an 8x8 or 9x9 dish.
Place dish in freezer and after about an hour, begin chipping away at the edges of the mixture with a fork to break it into smaller pieces.
Place the dish back in the freezer. 30 minutes later, check again and continue to scrape with a fork. After about 2 hours, you should have it completely scraped.
Serve the strawberry granita in little bowls with a strawberry garnish if you'd like.
This granita has become one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh summer strawberries as it truly lets their flavor shine. It's wonderfully icy and perfect for eating with a spoon.
Some people serve granitas as palate cleansers between courses of a meal and this one would be fabulous at a fancy summer dinner party.
But I like to eat it for dessert on a night when I'm craving something a little bit lighter.
One of the reasons I'm most sad for summer to end is that I'll miss fresh strawberries so much.
But while this strawberry granita is a summer dream come true, I'm also thinking about all the other delicious flavors of granita that are in my future.
I hope you get the chance to make this strawberry granita while strawberries are still at their freshest!
And here's hoping you enjoy the rest of your summer. Until it's officially over, that is 🙂
What's your favorite frozen dessert?
If you like this strawberry dessert, be sure to check out my White Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream and my Strawberry Soufflé. And I'm super excited to make these Strawberry Cream Pie Popsicles from Healthy Little Vittles!
- 1 lb. strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- In a medium bowl, combine strawberries and sugar. Mix until the sugar is just dissolved and the strawberries begin to release their juices. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.
- Combine the strawberries, including their liquid, water, and lemon juice in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer to eliminate any seeds.
- Transfer mixture into an 8x8 or 9x9 dish, cover with foil, and place in freezer.
- After about an hour, remove dish from freezer and begin chipping away at the edges of it with a fork to break it into smaller pieces. Place the dish back in the freezer. 30 minutes later, check again and continue to scrape with a fork. After about 2 hours, you should have it completely scraped.
- Serve in bowls with strawberry garnish, if desired.
- Recipe from David Lebovitz