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Neapolitan Lemon Granita

Marcella Giamundo thinks about her mischievous cousins whenever she makes this fluffy, sweet and tart ice. Once they picked all the lemons in an aunt's orchard—there must have been hundreds—and impaled them on her picket fence. They didn't spare one tree.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10

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  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice


  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the water with the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Let cool, then add the remaining 2 cups of water and the lemon juice.
  2. Pour the lemon syrup into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish and freeze until slushy, about 2 hours. Using a fork, scrape the ice crystals into the center and freeze again. Repeat the scraping every 30 minutes or so until the entire mixture has turned into ice flakes. Spoon into small glasses and serve.

Make Ahead

The granita can be frozen for up to 5 days. Stir before serving.


Mint or basil would be terrific additions to this recipe. Add 1/2 cup of herb leaves to the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Strain out the herbs once the syrup cools, and proceed with the recipe.

You can also freeze this mixture in an ice cream machine to make smooth, creamy lemon sorbet.

Contributed By Published April 2004

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