This Lychee-Ginger Granita is a refreshing summer treat that doesn’t required small equipment to make. It’s like shaved ice, but makes with fresh fruit & juice.
Heard of “Granita” before? It’s an Italian semi-frozen treat. It’s kind of like a combination of sorbet and shaved ice. The outcome is all depends on how you freeze it. Some use a gelato machine, which give a finer texture to granita. It’s almost like a sorbet. Some just do it by hand with a fork, which make the ice crystal bigger and flakier. It looks like a shaved ice. No matter how you make it, it is still amazing dessert!
This granita recipe is the do-it-by-hand version. No special equipment needed. Just prepare a flat-bottom pan, a fork and free up some space in your freezer. Instead of bland shaved ice with syrup, granita was flavored at the very beginning with real fruits and herbs. Instead of using traditional ingredients like lemon or strawberry, I chose these ripe and fresh lychees from Melissa’s Produce. Lychee is sweet, fragrant and light. Lychees are one of those special fruits I love. I grew up eating them in Hong Kong. However, it isn’t too easy to get them in the US. Thanks to Melissa’s Produce! I can now easily get them online when they are in season and have them at my doorsteps within a couple of days. How convenient!
Other than lychees, I also used ginger and lemon in this granita. Ginger was infused into the sugar syrup, which gave a nice depth of flavor. Puree the flesh of lychees, add the syrup and a little bit of fresh lemon juice. Lemon juice helped to balance out the sweetness of lychees and syrup. Freeze it and scrape the ice every 30 minutes for 4 hours. It’s incredible to see how the liquid transformed into little ice flakes. Tons of fun! This granita was extraordinary! Refreshing, flaky, sweet and cold. This is absolutely the dream dessert for summer!
- 2 cups drinking water
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ginger slice (1 x ½-inch) (slightly smashed)
- 18 fresh lychee
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (maybe more)
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar and ginger slice. Cook and stir until sugar dissolved. Remove from heat and cool for about 45 minutes.
- Peel the lychee and remove the pits. Save the juice in the process. Place the lychee flesh and juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and the cooled sugar syrup. Taste and add a little more lemon juice if needed.
- Transfer the mixture to a flat-bottomed 9 x 13-inch baking or glass dish. Transfer to freezer and chill for 30 minutes.
- Stir the mixture thoroughly with a fork and freeze again for 30 minutes. Continue to freeze for another 4 hours, scraping and breaking the mixture with a fork every 30 minutes. Scoop to serving cups and serve immediately.
- Make sure NOT to use a non-stick pan when freezing the granite. You don’t want to scrape up any non-stick coating while mixing the granite.
- For storage, transfer the finished granite to an air-tight container. Store up to a week.
- Got extra lychees? Make this lychee beverage.
Maryanne | the little epicurean says
Lychee is one of my favorite fruits! I’m always excited to see them at the market. LOVE IT! This granita is perfect for summer 🙂
Yes, me too! Lychees are so special and hard to resist! This light and refreshing granita is sure right in time for summer. Thank you Maryanne!
It’s a heat wave over here (probably not as hot as you have it though) and a granita would be so welcomed! I haven’t made it in ages and never had a lychee one. Love lychee…need to buy some. Stay cool, my friend!
Our weather has actually been pretty nice (around 75˚F). But I know the heat will be coming back soon! You will love this lychee granita. Cold and refreshing! Keep you alive during heat wave. 😀
I’ve seen lychees in a can, but I don’t think I would have known what they were if I saw them fresh! Now that I’ve seen them here, I am going to look at my Asian grocery. There are so many things there that I would love to identify! Ginger sounds perfect for granita…spicy yet cooling!
Fresh lychees are MUCH better than the ones in can. Canned lychees are overly sweet and flavors are very concentrate, but fresh lychees are less sweet, lighter and have a fresh taste. You need to check them out.
The ginger was actually not spicy here, because it has been cooked in the hot syrup for a bit. It tasted mild and fragrant in the granita. Very good with the lychees. Let me know how it goes if you made it. 🙂