I first got excited about making ice cream this summer when I made the No-churn Sweet Corn Ice Cream that I shared with you about a month ago.  My enthusiasm continued when I shared Easy Watermelon Granita last week.  Much of my enthusiasm for making ice cream this summer and my inspiration for that granita came from Ruby Violet’s Ice Cream Dreams.  I was sent this book to review and I loved the story behind the author and the recipes that she offered.

Julie Fisher’s inspiration for this ice cream book came from her grandmother who enjoyed ice cream and shared her favorite treats with Julie and her sister.  Any recipe inspiration that is rooted in nostalgic memories of family traditions is very familiar to me as that is where I find much of my inspiration for new recipes.

Julie began making ice cream at her home and eventually, after testing recipes on her willing neighbors, she opened a stall at a local market.  She sold tubs of ice cream that featured currently fresh ingredients to market-goers.

Julie later moved her business to a permanent location where she still makes small batch ice cream that features the freshest seasonal ingredients and no artificial flavorings.  The book starts out with the “basics” which are base recipes for different types of ice creams and sorbets.  Julie then goes on to offer many different flavors of ice cream as well as recipes for desserts to feature your homemade recipes in, like an affogato which is simply a fresh shot of espresso poured over your choice of ice cream.  The book is beautiful and offers almost a photo per recipe.  Most of the recipe ingredients are listed in volumetric measurements, so you’ll want to have a scale on hand for accuracy.  I was instantly drawn to this book because of the story behind the author, but the quality of recipes and gorgeous photography will make it one of my go-to references when it comes to ice cream.

Hardie Grant Publishing provided me with a copy of this book for review, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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As long as it is summer, each week I buy a watermelon, chop it up and snack on it morning, noon and night.  I just can’t get enough.  Inevitably I can’t get through the entire melon myself, so I turn it into other delights like the Strawberry Watermelon Cooler that I shared with you a couple of weeks ago.  My latest obsession is this Easy Watermelon Granita.

Easy Watermelon Granita {satisfymysweettooth.com}

A granita is essentially a grown-up version of a snow cone that it is so refreshing and cooling on these hot summer days.  Not only do I love the flavor of this Easy Watermelon Granita, but that color, that perfectly pink watermelon color, is just so perfect.

Easy Watermelon Granita {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Now when I say “easy” I am not exaggerating.  To make this granita, you simply puree chunks of watermelon and strain the juice, mix in a couple more ingredients, pop it into your freezer and in a few short hours, you will be spooning icy chilled Easy Watermelon Granita into your mouth.  I added a very small amount of tequila to my granita and I’ll tell you why:  alcohol inhibits the liquid from fully freezing so that no matter how long you have left your granita in the freezer, it won’t freeze into a solid block, but will remain nice shards of frozen goodness.  You could use any alcohol you prefer (vodka, gin, rum, etc.) or omit it completely, but if you omit it just make sure that you do an effective job of scraping the entire mixture into fine bits during the freezing process so that you don’t get large ice pieces.

Easy Watermelon Granita {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Easy Watermelon Granita

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups granita

Cool and refreshing shaved watermelon granita will be the perfect refreshment for the remaining days of summer

Ingredients

    For the simple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • For the granita
  • 2 1/4 cups watermelon juice (from about 5 cups chopped watermelon)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • the simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tequila (or vodka)

Instructions

    For the simple syrup
  1. Place the water into a small microwave-safe mug and microwave for 45-60 seconds (until almost boiling).
  2. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved completely.
  3. Place into the refrigerator to cool completely.
  4. For the granita
  5. Use a blender or food processor to process the watermelon until you have 2 1/4 cups of juice.
  6. Strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve to remove any pulp.
  7. Pour the juice into an 8X8-inch baking dish.
  8. Add lemon juice, simple syrup and tequila to the watermelon juice and mix gently until the mixture is well combined.
  9. Place the dish into the freezer. Every 2 hours until the mixture is completely frozen, remove the mixture from the freezer and gently scrape the surface with a fork so that the frozen bits become fine shavings.
  10. Serve directly from the freezer.
  11. Can be kept in a well-sealed container in the freezer for one month.

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