Watermelon Granita

For our first barbecue, I wanted to serve a simple summer dessert that everyone would enjoy after eating all the pork belly and chicken. I don’t know how heavy watermelons are in your area, but in Harlem, a quarter of a melon is good enough for this recipe–it fed five people with second servings. And at 69 cents a pound, it’s also the least expensive dessert I can think of with minimal effort. The watermelon juice that didn’t fit in the glass dish went into three tall glasses spiked with Grey Goose.

watermelon flesh, chopped in manageable pieces
1/4 cup sugar
juice from 1 lemon
mint leaves

1. Put all watermelon pieces in a large glass bowl and sprinkle all over with sugar. Let stand for an hour in room temperature. In the meantime, put a square baking glass dish in the freezer.
2. Using a blender, purée the sugared watermelon and their juices with 1/2 cup of water and a squirt of the lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary. There should be a perfect balance of light sweetness and some tart.
3. Remove the glass dish from the freezer and pour in blended watermelon juice. Return to the freezer and freeze.
4. After 30 minutes, the watermelon should begin to freeze. Scrape off frozen bits from the side of the glass dish and move them to the center. Return to the freezer. Repeat three more times before serving with mint leaves.

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