We are smack in middle of the dog days of summer: It’s hot, it’s humid, and the sun shines until 9 p.m. Well, that's likely the case for most of you. I live in Colorado—not in Denver where it's 100 degrees, but up in the mountains of Summit County, where the high for today was 62.
While I may not be sweating my butt off, I am still taking advantage of summer the best way I know how: with lots of homemade ice cream, summer berries, cherries, and now, homemade Italian ice, too.
Some day I will make it to Italy for the summer, but until then, I can make myself some Italian ice and pretend I am walking the streets of Rome. The great thing about this recipe is that it's so easy: It takes just minutes to prepare, and there's no special ice cream maker required. Just use a blender or food processor, then let the freezer do the heavy lifting.
What Is Italian Ice?
Similar to water ice, a classic summer treat from Philadelphia, Italian ice is typically made from water, sugar (or in this case, honey), fresh fruit, and occasionally a splash of lemon juice to balance out the sweetness. In Italy, you'll find a very similar frozen dessert called granita, though granita is a bit more coarse in texture.
To the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender, add the fruit, honey or sugar (I used 2 tablespoons honey), lemon juice, and 2 cups ice. Blend the mixture until chunky and then add the remaining 1 cup of ice. Blend until completely smooth.
Pour the mixture into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the ice from the freezer and scrape it with a fork until slushy. Return to the freezer for another 2 hours.
After 2 hours, you can then scoop the ice into cups. If the ice is too hard to scoop, let it sit out for 5 minutes to soften, or add the ice to a blender and blend until slushy. Scoop into cups.