In July, it’s too hot to drink my afternoon coffee. Instead, I treat myself to a cool coffee granita (Italian shaved ice), made with freshly brewed espresso, sugar and lime juice. Topped with my 5-Minute Sweetened Whipped Cream, this granita can also be enjoyed as a grand finale to a summer dinner.

Active prep time: 10 to 12 minutes
Inactive prep time: 1 hour, 40 minutes (for freezing)
Serves: 4 to 6

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely ground espresso coffee beans
3 cups water
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
5-Minute Sweetened Whipped Cream (found in our Recipes, under Desserts, Creams & Sauces)

1. Brew the espresso coffee in an automatic drip coffee maker using the standard method as in making American coffee.

2. Alternatively, combine the ground espresso beans with the water in a saucepot and bring to a boil.

3. Immediately remove pot from burner and let stand 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Pour and strain the brewed coffee through a paper filter into a glass or porcelain bowl.

5. Stir the sugar and lime juice into the warm coffee and pour into a shallow metal 12 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan and set in freezer.

6. Freeze for about 50 minutes.

7. Using a fork, scrape the iced granita away from edges of pan, and gently stir into the middle of the mixture.

8. Return the pan to freezer. Stir the mixture every 20 minutes (approximately twice more) until the granita (shaved ice) has formed completely.

9. Serve in individual glass bowls, ramekins or cups and top with 5-Minute Sweetened Whipped Cream (found in our Recipes, under Desserts, Creams & Sauces).

10. Garnish the cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a few espresso coffee beans.

Serve with biscotti or other dry cookie variety.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real