Moron Test Kitchen – Lemon Mint Granita

Huh? You mean you’re not familiar with the Israeli restaurant fave? I got this recipe from a blog at and thought I’d give it a go. I’ve never tried anything from her site before, mainly because they are either too intimidating, too exotic, or too strange. Do I REALLY need to make marshmallows from scratch, I think not. But years ago when I was visiting Chicago, I went to Little Italy and had some Italian ice. It was super light and refreshing and this recipe sounds a bit like it, so why not?


Okay, first take 4 lemons. Cut the top quarter off, then cut off the very tip of the other end. You don’t want to cut it OFF, you just want the  lemons to be able to stand up.

Remove all of the lemon guts/juice and put it into a bowl. I used a grapefruit tool and did it OVER a bowl so that I didn’t lose any. Put the empty lemons in the freezer. We’ll come back to those later.


Smitty’s recipe doesn’t mention the seeds. I just plucked them out. Now add 25 – 30 mint leaves to the bowl. Pour it all into a food processor and ALMOST puree. Stop just short.


I actually did mine a bit too much. Let the mixture stand for about 15 minutes so the mint can reach it’s peak flavor. Or something like that, I can’t remember exactly why.

Now push the whole mess through a fine strainer.


The recipe says that you should end up with about 1 cup of juice, so I put a measuring cup in the bowl to check.


Hey, what do you know? Pretty close. Because I pureed my mixture too much, my juice had tiny green flakes in it. I was afraid they’d get stuck in my teeth, so I poured it  through the strainer one more time and it was perfect. Now add 4 cups of water, and then 3 tablespoons of sugar, ONE tablespoon at a time until it’s dissolved.

_mg_1700Pour into a pan or dish of some sort, just so the mixture is about 1 inch deep. I used a cake pan – perfect. Stick it in the freezer. Check it in about an hour, and scrape it with a fork to break it up. Let it freeze again for about an hour. Go back and scrape it again. Do this for 2 – 3 hours.

_mg_1714It should look something like this. Remember those lemons you stuck in the freezer? Get them out.


Aww…cute cups. Fill them with your lemon/mint mixture and enjoy.


I don’t know if you can tell, but Rachel REALLY enjoyed these.

Moron Test Grade – B. It was hard getting all of the lemonony guts out, and pushing the mint through the stainer was a mess. They were good, but I’m not racing out to the freezer to finish the pan off.  Still…the mint and lemon make for a VERY refreshing combo. And it’s about as close to an Israeli restaurant as I’m going to get. If I did it again I’d just forget the cute lemon cups and put it straight into a glass. With a splash of vodka. Now THAT would be an A+ recipe.

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