If your Fourth of July summer celebrations are anything like ours, there is definitely no shortage of good food. We grill everything in sight – burgers, brats, hot dogs, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, onions, and anything else that isn’t nailed down. By the time we are done with all the grilling, we are pretty full!
But no one wants to skip dessert, right? This year, as part of this sponsored campaign with Mirum Shopper, I went on the hunt for a light and refreshing dessert that would be a little different from the normal cookout desserts being served all around the country. I didn’t have to go much farther than my own favorite beverage to find exactly what I was looking for:
Lemony Sweet Tea Granita!!
I’ve been a huge iced tea fan ever since I was a preschooler in Arkansas and my neighbor used to serve up huge (well, they looked huge to my little eyes) frosty glasses of sweet tea every afternoon. While coffee was something I had to learn to love in college, my love for tea was instant and long lasting. (I *may* even steer clear of certain local restaurants that don’t offer iced tea as a beverage choice.)
Granita is really hot (or should I say cool??) right now. You may have even noticed a certain national coffee house has added it to their afternoon menu. It’s actually really easy to make and is the perfect refreshing finish to any cookout or summer meal.
The trick to making good tea granita is starting with good tea. I made a trip to my local Meijer store and grabbed the ingredients I would need. Lipton Natural Energy black tea is my favorite and I was running low, so I tossed a box into my cart. The only other store bought ingredients I needed were sugar and a lemon.
Once I was back home, I started by putting 3 cups of water into a sauce pan. I then added 2/3 of a cup of sugar and set it on the stove to boil.
While it was boiling, I zested and juiced the lemon. Once the sugar/water reached a boil, I turned off the burner, threw in two Lipton tea bags and let it steep for 5 minutes.
Once the timer went off after 5 minutes, I removed the tea bags and added the lemon zest and juice. I let the mixture sit until it reached room temperature.
I poured the cooled mixture into an 8×8 baking pan, covered it with plastic wrap and popped it in the freezer. It’s important to check on the mixture after 45 to 60 minutes and gently rake through it with a fork to break up any large pieces, especially along the edges. Set a timer because if you wait too long, you will wind up with a giant tea flavored ice cube!
Put it back into the freezer and repeat the previous step every 15 to 20 minutes until you have a fluffy/ice cone consistency. The whole process usually takes about 2 hours until it is completely frozen and ready to serve.
If you’re not going to be eating it right away or prefer to get your prep done ahead of time, the finished granita can be stored in an air tight container (in the freezer of course) for up to 3 days.