Granita al Caffè

This has got to be the simplest & easiest dessert (breakfast in Sicily) I ever made.   All you need is three basic ingredients and you are off to enjoy one of Sicily's best.  Well, to be more exact, a copy of Sicily's granita, because nothing can really compare to the ones that you eat in the island itself.  I don't know why, the ones we get in Rome or whatever part of the country cannot come close to the real thing.

After doing a series of granita al limone (lemon), granita alla pesca (peach) & different flavors of gelato the whole month, my husband suggested that I make the simplest & his favorite breakfast in Sicily.  Granita al caffe'.  When we has young, he would switch between the lemon & coffee variety eaten with a brioche, a typical lightly sweet soft Sicilian bread that is eaten with granita or gelato. 

I prefer churning the granita in the ice cream maker rather than scraping the ice manually because it can get very hard to scrape.   I cannot keep on calling my husband everytime I feel like having a glass.  Aside from not wanting to bother him, he will find out how much I eat!  The granita al caffe' is so good that I tend to forget that it's done with pure coffee.  I limit myself to 3 - 4 times a day to replace my regular espresso during the day. 

The right opportunity to prepare it came the other day when my husband's relatives were coming for lunch.  They said it was good but it needed more coffee.  I was amused.  Sicilians and their granite!   They can never be strong enough.  

Granita al Caffè

Serves 4
  • 1-1/2 cups espresso coffee (not brewed coffee)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups water
  1. Mix the water and sugar in a saucepan with low flame until sugar melts.  Do not make it boil.  Let it cool.
  2. Mix the syrup and coffee and mix well.  Transfer to a container and place it in the freezer.  Mix every half an hour to avoid solidifying.  
  3. If you are using an ice cream maker, transfer the liquid to the ice cream maker and let it freeze & churn until the granita reaches the right consistency.   Your aim is to break the ice crystals not to make it too frothy so don't leave it in the ice cream maker too long.  Transfer to the freezer until you are ready to serve.