Granita di Caffé

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There is no better way to spend a lazy hot summer morning (or afternoon) than with an icy glass of granita di caffé con panna. In Sicily, where it originated, it is often served for breakfast with a sweet roll (briosca) for dipping into the granita. In the afternoon, it makes the best pick-me-up!

If you make it yourself, you can use decaffeinated coffee, if you prefer, and sweeten it to your own taste.

  • 2 cups freshly brewed espresso
  • 1/2 cup sugar- or to taste
  • optional - heavy cream, lightly whipped


In an espresso maker, French press or drip coffeepot, make the espresso according to the manufacturers directions. Add sugar, as desired and stir until dissolved. Chill until cold.

Choose a metal non-reactive pan that will fit easily into your freezer (12 – by 9 – by 3 inch works well). Pour the cooled espresso into the pan and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. When the edges and bottom begin to freeze, stir the ice crystals into the center of the mixture. Return the pan to the freezer and continue freezing, stirring every 30 minutes, until all the liquid is frozen with fine crystals. A fork is the best utensil to use for stirring because the tines can be used to break up the larger crystals. The total freezing time will be anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on your freezer. If the mixture is not stirred regularly, it will freeze solid.

Serve in short glasses, or goblets with a dollop of optional whipped cream.