Italian ice, also known as granita or water ice, is a dessert made from lightly sweetened ice crystals. It takes around 4 hours to make an ice once you get started, but most of that time is spent waiting on your dessert to finish freezing. Experiment with different liquids to flavor the ice; as long as you like the taste of the liquid, any mistakes that you make will be edible.
Things You'll Need
Combine a 2-to-1 ratio of sugar and water in a saucepan. To create a simple syrup, bring the liquid to a simmer and stir it with a fork until all of the sugar has dissolved. One batch of Italian ice uses about 1/2 cup of simple syrup, but you can refrigerate large batches for later use.
Blend a 1-to-4 ratio of the simple syrup and your chosen flavored liquid in a glass or metal bowl. Each batch of Italian ice should contain a total of about 2 1/2 cups of liquid.
Stir the liquid in the bowl until it is thoroughly blended; add a pinch of salt and continue stirring for another minute. The salt helps the ice achieve the crystallized consistency.
Taste the liquid in the bowl. Adjust the mixture according to your flavor preferences by adding more simple syrup or flavored liquid.
Pour the liquid from the bowl into a shallow baking dish, such as an 8-by-8 inch baking pan. The liquid should fill the dish with an inch or 2 of liquid. If it fills it more than that, use two dishes.
Place the baking dish in the freezer on an even surface. Stir the Italian ice with a fork every hour for 3 to 4 hours until it is entirely frozen in large ice crystals.
Serve the Italian ice or transfer it to a sealed container for later use.
References and ResourcesBi-Rite Creamery's Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones; Kris Hoogerhyde et al.
The Perfect Scoop; David Lebovitz