Articles & Recipes

Watermelon Granité With Candied Basil Leaves

Ashley Sperber - Friday, June 10, 2016
Watermelon Granité With Candied Basil Leaves

Traditionally granité is just blended fruit that's strained of it's pulp, with sugar added and dissolved into the fruit juice.  In my recipe, I decided to keep the pulp because I like the added texture.  When experimenting with more dense or seeded fruits (berries, apple, citrus, mango, pineapple, etc), I would advise straining all remnants, as the fibers may be unpleasant.

It is a rare occurrence when I list sugar as one of the ingredients of my recipe.  When it comes to "candy-ing" an item, there simply is no other option.  The best I can suggest is using raw, unbleached sugar, however it wont give the same bright appearance to the basil.  The best recommendation I can make is to leave the basil in its raw form, and serve it finely diced as a garnish to the granité.

servings: 6-8
prep time: 20 mins
freeze time: 2 hours

watermelon granité:
6 cups seedless watermelon
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of sea salt

candied basil:
12 basil leaves, whole, washed and dried
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar, unrefined
pinch sea salt

Blend the watermelon, honey and salt to a liquid consistency.  Place the mixture in a pan that is at least 13x9 inches (the smaller the pan, the longer it will take to freeze).  Check on the mixture every 20-30 minutes, scraping it with a spoon, so it will not freeze into a solid block.  After the first hour the watermelon should take on a "snow like" consistency.  While the granité is forming, bring water and 1/4 cup sugar to a simmer for about 5 minutes.  Allow the mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes.  Once cooled, dip each basil leaf into the simple syrup mixture, and place over a wire rack to dry- ensuring all excess liquid is removed.

Combine remaining sugar and pinch of salt in a small bowl, mix, and set aside to candy the basil leaves right before serving.  After 2 hours, the granité should be the consistency of light flaky snow, when scraped by a spoon.  At this time, quickly and lightly dip the basil leaves into the dry sugar mixture. Scoop one cup of the granité into a bowl and garnish with candied basil leaf.

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