Lemon Italian Ice

Lemon Italian Ice

I hadn’t made Italian ice in a long time. As a kid, I remember getting little cups of this treat in the summer and I loved it. I decided it was time to make some again.

The recipe couldn’t be simpler. Just water, sugar and juice. You can also add zest. You don’t even need any special equipment. Lemon is more traditional, but lime works great, too. You can add more juice or less or more sugar to suit your own taste. I like my lemon ice to have a nice strong lemon flavor. Taste it before you freeze it to make it to suit your taste.

Italian ice is a great, light dessert or it can be served as a palate cleanser. Make more than you think- it goes fast. A friend stopped over last night and we added scoops to our vodka cocktails. Very tasty!!


Lemon Italian Ice

2½ c. water

1½ c. sugar

1¼  c. lemon juice*

Zest of 2 lemons, optional

Combine water and sugar in bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and zest, if adding, and stir until well combined. Freeze.

You have options here. You can place the mixture in a shallow tray- preferably one with a tight lid- and place in the freezer. Or you can put the mixture in any shape container with a tight lid and freeze. It kind of depends on how you plan to serve your ice, once it is frozen. Some recipes call for stirring the mixture every 30 minutes as it freezes. Then to serve it, you just scrape over the surface with a heavy spoon for a grainy ice- a granita. This is one option and a tasty one. Works best in the flatter, longer container.

Another option is to just freeze it. Once frozen, allow the lemon ice to soften a few minutes, then break into chunks and place in a food processor. Run the processor until the mixture is smooth- then serve or put back in the freezer until you want to serve it. You can even repeat the food processing part another time for a smoother end product. This is what I did with this batch. I wanted a sorbet – like texture.

If you didn’t have enough choices already, you can also put the lemon juice mixture in an ice cream machine to freeze. This method will also give you a sorbet like final product.

No one way is best- it is just what you like. Makes about a quart.

* you can use lime juice and zest instead, for lime ice- or even use them together.

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