Hot summer days are here, and it will only get hotter. The heat is making my stomach churn, so I'm excited about this wood sorrel and lemon granita recipe.
It's a bright and cold dessert that's a refreshing snack that satisfies your sweet tooth simultaneously, and you don't even need an ice cream maker! I'm here for easy recipes, especially when you're trying not to use the oven. If you want to impress your friends at a dinner party, this simple dessert is it!
The combination of lemon juice and tangy wood sorrel adds an unexpected twist that will make your guests double-take when they see what looks like an elegant dish—but it only took minutes to make and will be ready by dinner.
What Is The Difference Between Granita and Sorbet?
These two desserts are quite similar, but since granitas are typically made by hand, the texture is icy, while sorbets are churned and closer to ice cream in texture. Both are made from fruit purée, juices, or other liquids.
Granita al Limone
Granita is a Sicilian treat and lemon is one of the most popular flavors. Lemon ice was a summer favorite in hot New England summers, but instead of Sicilian lemon granita in southern Italy enjoying my Italian ice in western Massachusetts. If you are out of lemons check out this mulberry granita recipe that you also find on a Sicilian granita menu.
What is wood sorrel?
Wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) is a perennial herb in the Oxalidaceae family, native to Europe and North America. It is also known as sour grass or sour weed. Wood sorrel is high in vitamin C, and it is a great snack on a hot day.
Ingredients and substitutions
To make the lemon granita, you'll need a cup of fresh wood sorrel leaves and stems, one lemon (zest and juice), a quarter cup of sugar, and one cup of water.
For a shortcut, you can make this wood sorrel sugar syrup ahead of time.
If so, omit the lemon zest because it will be too intense; otherwise, use the sweetened fruit juice. You could substitute sugar with honey if you'd prefer it that way!
- Rinse the wood sorrel leaves thoroughly and trim away any stems that may still be attached.
- Add the wood sorrel to a boil in a large pot (at least two quarts) over medium heat.
After 5 minutes, turn off the burner, remove the pan from heat and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before straining out all liquid through cheesecloth or another fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
Discard any solids left behind in your bowl. Add sugar and lemon juice to strained liquid until dissolved and stir well until thoroughly combined.
Let mixture come to room temperature or store in the fridge until cool
Mix Lemon Juice And Syrup
Once ready, add lemon juice, zest, and water into the cooled syrup.
Freeze The Mixture
Pour liquid into a shallow baking dish, add chopped wood sorrel leaves, and place it in the freezer.
After two hours, pull the sheet tray from the freezer and, using the tines of a fork, break up the partially frozen liquid, encouraging ice crystals, then place it back in the freezer for another two hours.
Serve The Granita
Once the granita reaches the optimal texture (semi-frozen, icy, with minimal to no liquid), top it with fresh wood sorrel leaves and serve in a martini glass with a spoon!
- Top it with extra simple syrup and bam! Instant adult snow cones!
- Serve with mint.
- Serve with lemon zest.
- Serve with lemon juice—add a few drops to the granita, and you're good to go!
- Serve with fresh mint leaves...although I don't know why you'd want to do that because this is a dessert!
Storage and Leftovers
Store your leftover granita in a freezer bag or air-tight container in the freezer. You can keep granita in the freezer for up to a month. You may need to scrape it again before serving.
This is a great way to cool down on a hot summer day. The sorrel flavor is fresh and light. The lemon granita recipe adds just enough sweetness and tanginess to balance out the sorrel's herbal taste.
It's also very easy to make! All you need are three ingredients: wood sorrel leaves, sugar, and water.
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup of wood sorrel syrup
- ¼ cup of wood sorrel leaves finely chopped
- the juice and zest from 1 lemon
Make the syrup
- Rinse the leaves thoroughly and trim away any stems that may still be attached.
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot (at least two quarts) over medium heat and add the wood sorrel.
- After 5 minutes, turn off the burner, remove the pan from heat and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before straining out all liquid through cheesecloth or another fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
- Discard any solids left behind in your bowl.
- Add sugar and lemon juice to strained liquid until dissolved and stir well until thoroughly combined.
- Let mixture come to room temperature or store in the fridge until cool