This Sweet Tea Granita with Lemon Syrup is a Southern take on a refreshing Italian dessert. Cold-brew iced tea is frozen into light and fluffy crystals and topped with fresh lemon syrup that makes for an irresistible summer treat!
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Author: Whitney Reist | Sweet Cayenne
Fine mesh sieve
2cupscold filtered water
3single-serving black tea bags (or English Breakfast Tea)
½cuppure cane sugar, or an alternative sweetener (like Splenda)
6 mediumlemon rinds from used lemons, cut into chunks
1cupof turbinado sugar or pure cane sugar (or ½ cup cane sugar, ½ cup Splenda)
The day before:
Let tea bags steep in the water in the fridge for 8-10 hours or overnight.
Combine the sugar and the lemon rinds. Cover and refrigerate for 8-10 hours or overnight. Give them a toss when you can to encourage the release of juices.
The day of:
Remove the tea bags from the water. Add the sugar to the tea and stir until it dissolves for 1-2 minutes. Pour the tea in a non-reactive stainless steel square pan. Place it in the freezer and set the timer for one hour.
During this time, strain the lemon syrup from the container through a fine mesh sieve and into a bottle or jar. Use a lemon squeezer or potato ricer to crush any remaining juices from the lemons into the strainer.
Label and date the lemon syrup before storing it in a glass container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
After one hour, use a fork to scrape and fluff any frozen bits in the tea. Do this every 30-minutes-one hour, for 4-5 hours, until the tea is completely frozen into tiny, fluffy crystals resembling shaved ice. Keep scraping every hour until the liquid is fully frozen into crystals and is loose like shaved ice.
Fluff one last time with the fork and serve in bowls with the lemon syrup drizzled on top to taste.
Granita will stay frozen in crystals once all the liquid has been scraped and can be kept in the freezer for 1 week. Fluff before serving.
The recipe and technique for the lemon syrup were adapted from Serious Eats. *Nutrition is calculated for 6 servings of granita with 2 teaspoons each of lemon syrup.