Also popular in Italy, this iced take on almond relies on both its paste and meal, mixed with water to build upon its toasty, nutty qualities. Though it’s often treated as a snack rather than as an indulgent dessert, a spoonful of salted whipped cream (or coconut cream), crème fraîche, or mascarpone perfectly complements the rich, aromatic ice crystals.
Taste and adjust as you go—the flavors will dull when they freeze, so aim for a liquid that’s mouth-puckering and intensely flavored.
- Puree almond paste, almond meal, and water in a high-speed blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste, add simple syrup and salt, and stir. Taste again, and adjust with more simple syrup, a tablespoon at a time, or salt, a pinch at a time, if you like.
- Pour into a food storage container with a wider base and a lid. Freeze, covered for at least 4 hours and up to 8, until frozen semisolid (this amount of time will vary greatly depending on your freezer). Scrape well with 1 or 2 forks, working your way across the surface and scraping off layers of shaved ice, digging all the way down to the bottom. Use a bench knife or the end of a metal spatula to break up any larger chunks, and crush with a fork. Freeze again for 2–4 hours more, repeating this process 3–4 times in total. The granita will gain volume, and the ice crystals should become smaller, lighter, and snow-like.
- The last time you scrape, freeze cups or bowls so that they are chilled when serving—this will keep the granita from melting too quickly.
- Give a final fluff to your granita and mound it into your chilled glasses. Finish with additional toppings or accompaniments, or layer multiple flavors.