5 Ingredients or Fewer

Italian Ice

July 21, 2014
6 Ratings
Photo by Alex Egan
Author Notes

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.

Adapted from the Food Network. —Tieghan Gerard

Watch This Recipe
Italian Ice
  • Prep time 3 hours
  • Makes 4 cups
  • 3 cups fresh fruit (I've tried strawberries, blueberries, pineapple)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or granulated sugar, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups ice
In This Recipe
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cucina di mammina
    cucina di mammina
  • Tieghan Gerard
    Tieghan Gerard
  • Douglas
  • Joy Kramer
    Joy Kramer
Recipe creator at Half Baked Harvest, food lover + picture taker.

9 Reviews

Douglas August 5, 2015
Can I put watermelon in this?

Joy K. July 28, 2015
Probably could put pre-frozen ice through a sieve or food mill to remove seeds and skins. I imagine there are people who can't eat it with seeds in it. I can just imagine how good a chocolate ice would be...Yum.
Babs I. August 6, 2014
Way to go, Tieghan! Good work! Summers in Phoenix are a real change from Frisco, so I can't wait to try this.
mia N. August 6, 2014
I grew up in Brooklyn, loving the chocolate italian ice that could be had in every pizzeria and many, if not most, bakeries. I've never been able to find a recipe that duplicates that wonderful flavor. Can anybody help? Grazie!!
beege August 3, 2014
an how about the seeds in the strawberries or raspberries? what do I do there?
beege August 3, 2014
can one remove the fruit skins? For example, If I use fresh cherries, I can remove the pit, but should I peel the cherry before trying this dessert?
Author Comment
Tieghan G. August 3, 2014
Hi! I would personally leave the skins on the cherries. I also left my strawberries seeds in too! Hope you love this!
tulip549 July 29, 2014
Excellent and healthy dessert. Thanks for sharing!
cucina D. July 24, 2014
i love this! I am from italia and this is very much like our famous granitas :)
beautiful photo and now I am craving a iced granita with raspberries and blackberries... well done indeed.