This almond granita from Sicily is a refreshing and authentic Italian snack you can easily make at home! The hardest part is waiting for it to freeze — a delicious summer treat that will surely become one of your favorites!
Originally from Sicily, granita is a semi-frozen blend of sugar, liquid (i.e., juice, water, etc.), and some flavorings like fruits, nuts, or chocolates.
Nowadays, though, you see them in every region of Italy – most of the time adding their twist to it.
So, what is almond granita?
It is a combination of ground almonds, sugar, and almond milk — in a frozen form.
Sicilian almond granita is typically served for snacks and breakfast.
Yep, I was surprised by that too.
But it absolutely works because summer in Sicily, the southernmost region of Italy, is HOT.
Every glass of almond milk granita provides a refreshing, sweet reprieve from the Sicilian heat.
FOR MORE TRADITIONAL ITALIAN TREATS FOR SUMMER, CHECK OUT LOVE THESE POSTS!
- Almonds – you need to use whole almonds, not blanched almonds, so keep their skins on.
- Sugar – powdered sugar and regular granulated will be used in this Sicilian almond granita recipe.
- Milk – you can use either almond or regular milk.
Although, I strongly suggest almond milk because it adds to the overall flavor of almonds.
Start making Sicilian almond granita by using a blender to grind the almonds into a slightly powdery texture.
Add powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and almond milk.
Blend to combine evenly.
Strain the granita mixture to eliminate the remaining big chunks of almonds and pour it directly into a freezer-proof tin.
Freeze uncovered for an hour or two until the top solidified.
Note that this will depend on the temperature of your freezer — mine typically takes about an hour.
Remove from the freezer and use a fork to scrape and break any forming ice.
Place the container back in the freezer and repeat it every hour for the next three hours.
Serve with sprinkled chopped almonds on top, if desired.
- Make sure you don’t ground the almonds too much or end up with almond butter.
- Do not add all the sugar at once. Taste and adjust as per your preference.
- If you don’t want to serve it yet, cover the tin with aluminum foil and place it back in the freezer until serving.
- Toasted almonds. If you have more time, toast the almonds before grounding them.
You can do this either on the stovetop or in the oven. Toasting the almonds will give you a more intense flavor.
- Regular milk. Full cream milk is generally used for making granita.
I just opted to use almond milk when I discovered it in a small bar in Siracusa (on our last Sicilian trip) — it really does add depth to the almond flavor.
Is Sicilian almond granita vegan?
Not all of them, but this particular recipe is.
The ones I’ve tried on the island of Sicily are mostly made of regular milk.
I’ve only tried the one with almond milk in Siracusa – and that’s the flavor that has stuck with me.
You don’t just see faint traces of almonds; you also taste them.
Should I use sweetened or unsweetened milk for almond milk granita?
You can use either sweetened or unsweetened — but be sure to adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
I use unsweetened almond milk for this recipe because that’s the one I had on hand.
Always taste (and adjust) the mixture before straining and pouring it into the tin.
Looks so refreshing, right? Give Sicilian almond granita a try, and let me know what you think!
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Sicilian Almond Granita Recipe
- 1 & 1/4 cup whole almonds, (200 grams)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups almond milk (or regular milk), unsweetened
- Using a blender, ground the almonds to a powdery texture.
- Add powdered sugar, sugar, and almond milk and continue blending to combine.
- Strain the mixture to get rid of any big almond chunks left. Pour it directly into a freezer-free tin.
- Place in the freezer uncovered for an hour or two until the top has solidified a bit. (NOTE: It depends on how cold your freezer is, but mine generally takes about an hour.)
- Use a fork to scrape the granita.
- Put the container back in the freezer and repeat it every hour for 3 hours.
- Transfer almond granita to a glass and serve!
- Cook’s Tip #1: Don’t ground the almonds too much, or you will end up with almond butter.
- Cook’s Tip #2: It’s better not to add all the sugar at once. Taste and adjust as per your preference.
- Cook’s Tip #3: If you don’t want to serve it yet, cover the tin with aluminum foil and place it back in the freezer until serving.