1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 cup lemon juice
6 sprigs fresh mint
Granita Di Limone
Heat the sugar and 1 cup of the water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining water and lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a shallow glass dish large enough that the liquid in no more than 1 1/2 inches deep - a 7 x 11 inch baking dish works well - and let cool for 15 minutes. Place the mixture into the freezer, uncovered, for 3 hours, stirring every hour. Stirring every hour helps to break the granita up into flakes and keeps the texture light.
Spoon the granita into small glass bowls and garnish with a sprig of mint, if you wish. If you don't have mint on hand, use thin slices of lemon or lemon peel. Flowers also make a beautiful garnish against the pale color of the granita.
For a beautiful and fun serving idea, cut the tops from 6 large lemons. Using grapefruit knife, cut between the pulp and the skin and remove the pulp with a small spoon or melon baller, scraping the inside clean. Fill the lemon shells with the frozen granita and return to the freezer until ready to serve. To serve, place the filled shells in small glasses or cups and garnish with a sprig of mint. If you prefer to serve these on plates, cut a small slice from the bottom of the lemon shell before filling so they will stand by themselves.