If you checked in on me last weekend, you know I was trying to work my way through a WHOLE lot of watermelon prior to flying out of Austin for a visit to my grandparents in Wisconsin. Although I made a valiant effort to eat all of it in the purest form, I realized I’d probably turn into a watermelon if I didn’t at least conserve some of it. But how?And then, it hit me: I could freeze it…but freeze it in a form that would maximize it’s flavor and not result in a defrosted, soggy mess upon thawing. So what did I make? Watermelon Mojito Granita!I consulted two recipes–a Minted Watermelon Granita from Oxmoor House and a Watermelon and Lime Granita from Cooking Light–before realizing that I should go-jito and make it mojito by combining the mint and lime flavors. Why have one without the other?Both recipes involved making a simple syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolved, then mixing that with the watermelon. Well, to me that was just silly, as my watermelon was plenty sweet. I imagine should you NOT be blessed with picking out a super sweet watermelon you might want to add sugar. I skipped that step. The only sugar I needed was the natural kind.
Into my food processor (although a blender would work), I dumped 5 cups of cubed watermelon.I added 1/2 cup layered fresh mint leaves, and then squeezed in the juice of two limes.
Some of the lime pulp ended up in the mix since I was giving my arm a workout with squeezing so hard. I love the slight tang of lime, however, so this just added to the zip of the flavor.
I blended that up and quickly transferred it to a number of pans that could withstand the freezer. It’s important to move fast, because if you use a food processor, it will probably start leaking. Most recipes call for using a large 11 x 7 pan, but there was no way that was going to fit in our freezer. The key is just having a very thin layer of what is essentially a watermelon mojito agua fresca, so that it will be easy to scrape later.If you end up with a few chunks in the mix, you can either leave them as is, or eat them. [I, of course, ate them.]
Freeze for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer and use the tongs of a fork to scrape the frozen watermelon mixture into a cold fluff.
As it starts to defrost, it will get easier to scrape.Be careful not to lose it over the edge, though. It will start to break into chunks, at which point you can use your fork like a dagger to break everything up into small pieces.Once you have sufficiently fluffed your granita (and probably eaten quite a bit of it in the process)……you can store it all in one larger container, or serve immediately.
It’s already quite pretty, but more mint is ALWAYS better in my mind.
5 cups diced watermelon
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Juice from two limes (about 1/4 cup)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until liquified. Quickly transfer into a large pan, or multiple small pans, so that the watermelon mixture is in about 1/4″ layers. Freeze for 8 hours or overnight. Once frozen, use the tongs of a fork to scrape and fluff the granita. Serve immediately or store in a larger, freezer safe container.