Honey-Lime and Earl Grey Granita


I’ve always wondered about the difference between sorbet and granita. On “The Kitchn,” one of my favorite websites, I found a recent post on the difference between ice cream, gelato, sorbet and granita. Since I was mainly interested in the last two, here’s what I discovered.

Basically, sorbet and granita are exactly the same. The only difference is how they are made. A sorbet is churned like ice cream, while the granita is poured into a shallow dish and frozen. The ice crystals are broken up from time to time to make it slushier than sorbet. I discovered that what I made is actually a granita. So there you have it!

Someone else has said that a recipe is not an end in itself, but a process. Therefore, this adaptation from one of the recipes in The Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook is my personal step in an on-going process.

Honey-Lime & Earl Grey Granita

Combine 2 1/2 cups water with 5 tablespoons light, mild honey in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add 6 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea and lime juice from half of a lime, then bring back to a boil.

Reduce the heat and let simmer for a minute. Filter the mixture through a strainer and taste. Add more lime juice to taste.

When it’s all just right, pour the mixture into a shallow, flat container with a large surface area on the bottom. Place in the freezer.

Watch, and when the mixture just begins to freeze, remove from the freezer and pour into a blender. Length of time will depend on your freezer and size of your container, usually between 1 to 3 hours.

Blend on high for 30 seconds ONLY.

Pour back into the original container and refreeze. When the mixture has the texture of crystallized honey, it is ready. Serve in a frosted cocktail glass and garnish with a spring of spearmint – and take a picture.

Makes 1 to 2 servings.

LUCY’S NOTE: Well, I want to share the less than perfect recipes with you, too. I don’t think I will make this again unless I change a few things. Usually I have loose Earl Grey tea on hand, but this time I had only tea bags. So I cut open enough tea bags to come up with the 6 tablespoons the original recipe called for. The tea in a tea bag is made up of bits and pieces, not like regular loose tea leaves. It made the flavor unpleasantly strong, and I normally like strong tea. I wonder if more honey would have made it taste better? It has the potential for being very tasty, but it certainly could use further experimentation.

A hui hou!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

4 thoughts on “Honey-Lime and Earl Grey Granita”

  1. Pablo – Buenos Aires – Seeking the future of language learning through evidence-based approaches, storytelling and creativity.
    Pablo says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I like what you said about a recipe being a living thing… Inspired by some comments I saw on Rosemary granita, I made some granita yesterday out of my favorite tea: Earl Grey. And it turned out to be great – everyone liked it a lot! I didn’t have my expensive tin of imported Earl Grey – mind you, I wouldn’t have used it for granita. But I did have some Earl Grey tea bags that I liked. You brew the tea as normal except you use 2 tea tea-bags instead of 1 for every cup of water. Then you add double the sugar / sweetener / stevia that you would for drinking tea. Then you freeze for 1-2 hours and use forks to scrape the ice, then serve. Delicious! For extra sweetness, I added a teaspoon of raspberry pulp on top of each serving.

    1. I think my problem was that I made the tea too strong and didn’t add enough sweetening. I’m game to try again, though and I like your suggestions! What I made turned out to be a great granita, but the flavors I love (honey, lime, and Earl Gray) didn’t combine the way I would have preferred. Have you tried the Rosemary Granita? I wonder how that would be – or even with other herbs? Mahalo for commenting!

  2. Pablo – Buenos Aires – Seeking the future of language learning through evidence-based approaches, storytelling and creativity.
    Pablo says:

    Indeed 5 tablespoons loose tea for only 2 1/2 cups of water is a lot! I have tried (dry) rosemary tea before for colds and sore throat before – and it was quite unusual and strong. I now have fresh rosemary which smells awesome, and so different from dry rosemary. Because of the almost citric smell that fresh rosemary has, I would think it should taste great with lemon or orange. There’s a recipe for Lemon and Rosemary granita at
    I’ll try it and let you know! I loved your blog by the way, it must be beautiful where you live.

    1. Mahalo for the recipe! I will definitely try it since I have fresh rosemary growing in my garden. I also have a lime tree, so I think that might work instead of lemons. Also, I’m happy to know you enjoy the blog. Keep reading! 🙂 I write several a week, each in different areas of my life. Where is your home?

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