Sweet and fragrant, this is the perfect summer refresher. It also makes an excellent cocktail slush with a splash of vodka added to each serving. If you like, infuse a handful of chopped mint into the mixture when boiling the water, then strain it out before transferring the mixture to the blender with the cucumber.
- 2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) fresh lime juice
- 1 large English cucumber (about 12 oz./375 g)
- 4 lime slices (optional)
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) water, the sugar and lime zest. Place over medium heat and heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add the lime juice and let cool completely
Meanwhile, peel the cucumber, halve lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon. Chop the cucumber flesh and place in a blender. Add the sugar mixture and process to a fine puree.
Pour the mixture into a shallow metal baking pan. Place in the freezer and freeze, whisking every 30 minutes, until semifirm, about 3 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the freezer without stirring until frozen solid, at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
If you like, at least 1 hour before serving, place 4 glasses in the freezer. To serve, using a fork, scrape the surface of the granita into fine ice crystals. Scoop the granita into paper cones or into the frozen glasses. Place a lime slice on the rim of each glass, if you like, and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Frozen Desserts, (Weldon Owen, 2014)