A perfect, light ending to a summer meal, this watermelon granita with lemon cream is a marriage of two cuisines--Italian and Middle Eastern. It is sure to surprise the palate with its blend of sweet and tart, crunchy and creamy. The granita can be stored in the freezer and prepared days or weeks ahead. A simple dish to prepare, the granita can be served with or without the cream. Serve granita and labneh cream with a drizzle of honey and a sprig of mint.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
5 mins
1 hr 30 mins
1 hr 55 mins
12 servings


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Lemon Cream:


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine water, sugar, vanilla extract, and fresh mint in a heavy bottomed saucepan; bring to boil. Remove from heat; mix in lime juice and salt.

  • Place watermelon in batches in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl, using a spoon to press out as much juice as possible; stir in sugar mixture.

  • Pour watermelon mixture into a 10x14-inch glass pan. Freeze, scraping the surface every 30 minutes with a fork until ice crystals form throughout, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.

  • Mix labneh, honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a small bowl. Whisk in water 1 teaspoon at a time until consistency is light and creamy. Top granita with cream.

Cook's Notes:

For an extra tang, use goat or sheep labneh (thick Middle Eastern-style yogurt), which you can make from scratch at home.

If granita is too hard when removed from the freezer, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.

Covered with plastic, the granita can be kept in the freezer for a few months.

Nutrition Facts

100 calories; protein 1.3g; carbohydrates 13.9g; fat 3.2g; cholesterol 12.6mg; sodium 49.7mg. Full Nutrition