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© Paden Reich
Delicious and super easy—that’s all you need to know, and it hits the spot at the end of a pool party or cookout. With me, lemon and basil go hand in hand, and there’s nothing better than a dessert that actually leaves you feeling light and refreshed. To change this up, use lime juice instead of lemon and make frozen basil limeade granita. As for the basil, steep the entire package in the simple syrup; quite a bit of flavor comes from the stems and this is all about putting the flavor of the lemon and basil front and center. One other idea: Pour a little vodka over it and you have a delicious summer cocktail.
1. Combine the water, sugar, and basil in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. Pour the mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish; discard the basil leaves and stems. Stir in the lemon juice and, if desired, the vodka. Freeze until just beginning to harden, about 2 hours.
3. Scrape with a fork to form small crystals, and freeze until fully frozen, about 3 hours, scraping with a fork at 1-hour intervals. Serve the granita in chilled glasses, and garnish with the small basil leaves.
Once you move past the scraping stage, this granita will keep in the freezer for up to a week.
3 1/2 cups of water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 (1-ounce) packages basil leaves and stems
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1/4 cup vodka (optional)
Small fresh basil leaves
Hands on time
Including 5 hours freezing