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Kiwi Granita

Tangy, refreshing and bursting with kiwi fruit flavour, this simple recipe for Kiwi Granita requires only three ingredients: fresh kiwis, sugar and lemon juice. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a scoop of Greek yoghurt for a light and refreshing summer dessert.

Is there anything more refreshing on a hot day than an icy cold, frozen dessert? I love the heat of the summer weather, but I’m always looking for ways to cool off, and a light and refreshing Kiwi Granita ticks all my boxes.

It’s easy to make, doesn’t cost the earth, is packed with fresh kiwi fruit and tastes fantastic! This simple treat is made with only 3 ingredients and requires no fancy ice cream machines, just a freezer and a fork.

Kiwi or Kiwifruit Granita in a glass dish with fresh kiwifruit

What is Granita?

This is the most important question! In the simplest terms, granita is an Italian dessert made from frozen fruit juices. Originating in Sicily, this popular icy dessert is now popular worldwide.

The secret to a great granita is in the way the ice crystals are formed. You’ll find plenty of recipes for granita online where you’re instructed to freeze the juice solid, and then scrape away at it with a fork to get the crystals. This is shaved ice, not a traditional Sicilian granita!

Granita has beautifully shaped ice crystals made from gently stirring the fruit and sugar mixture as it freezes, which means rather than a whole lot of quickly melting shaved ice, you have a wonderfully textured dessert that doesn’t melt the moment you take it out of the freezer.

How to make Kiwi Granita?

It’s simple to make Kiwi fruit granita, you simply need to be around the house so you can give it a stir now and then while it freezes.

  1. First, make a fruit puree in the food processor or blender.
  2. Add some sugar for sweetness and a little lemon or lime juice (or even better, citric acid) to balance the flavours.
  3. Next, transfer the blended mixture to a shallow pan in the freezer.
  4. Then, all you need to do is use a fork to gently drag the ice crystals away from the side of the dish every hour or so until the granita has completely frozen.
  5. All that’s left to do is serve and enjoy!

Ingredients

To make Kiwi Granita you only need three ingredients:

  • Fresh kiwi fruit: That star of summer fruit salads, these super fruits are packed with flavour and full of healthy vitamin C. I’d recommend using green kiwis for best results, golden kiwis (while tasty) don’t look quite so beautiful.
  • White sugar: This is to sweeten the mixture and to help create a beautiful structure in the ice crystals.
  • Lime or Lemon Juice, or Citric Acid: This is used to balance the flavour profile and add a little zing. I prefer to use citric acid as it has a neutral flavour, allowing the taste of the kiwi fruit to shine through.
Kiwi or Kiwifruit Granita in a glass dish with fresh kiwifruit
Serve in chilled sundae glasses to help keep the granita frozen for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to make granita with kiwi fruit?

Not at all! Coming from New Zealand I am honour bound to eat plenty of our national fruit, but you could make this granita with just about any fruit juice you like, or even coffee.

Pomegranate juice makes a tasty pomegranate granita (though I’d rather you made my perfectly pink, no churn Pomegranate Sorbet), or you can make a light and refreshing Lemon Granita (which is excellent with my Gin & Tonic Jelly if you fancy a boozy treat). Experiment and see what you like!

I forgot about my granita and now it is a solid block. Is everything lost?

This has happened to everybody making granita at least once I think. I’d suggest dipping the bowl in warm (not hot!) water until you can release the block of ice.

Cut it into small chunks and process the frozen chunks and 1 egg white until smooth in a food processor with the blade attachment fitted.

Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze until set. You’ll have a lovely kiwi sorbet, and that works just as well.
You will see suggestions that you can scrape the hard ice with a fork to make crystals, but I’ll be honest with you here, it’s a thankless task and the result is too fine and will melt before you get the dessert on the table.

Should I strain the little black seeds out of the Kiwi granita?

I like to leave them in as they are perfectly safe and healthy to eat. They also immediately identify this dish as Kiwi fruit flavoured, and look striking against the green of the granita. I’d recommend only pulsing the food processor to keep the seeds in one piece.

Can I make this granita without a blender or a food processor?

You could try mashing the kiwis with a fork, though you won’t be able to extract a lot of juice, so I’d recommend using a fruit juice like pomegranate or grapefruit instead.

Kiwi or Kiwifruit Granita in a glass dish with fresh kiwifruit

Is it called a kiwi or a kiwi fruit?

This fruit is known internationally as a kiwi, however in New Zealand (where the name comes from) we always call them kiwi fruit. This is to avoid confusion between the fuzzy brown native bird or Kiwi from which the fruit takes its name, and Kiwis (what we New Zealanders often call ourselves!

Kiwi Granita Recipe

Kiwi or Kiwifruit Granita in a glass dish with fresh kiwifruit

Kiwi Granita

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freezing Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Tangy, refreshing and bursting with kiwi fruit flavour, this simple recipe for Kiwi Granita requires only three ingredients: fresh kiwis, sugar and lemon juice.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a scoop of Greek yoghurt for a light and refreshing summer dessert.

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe green kiwi fruit
  • 50g (¼ cup) white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

or:

  • ½ tsp citric acid

Instructions

  1. PREPARE: Peel and dice the kiwi fruit, and place a small, shallow baking dish or jelly roll pan in the freezer.
  2. MAKE THE SIMPLE SYRUP: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, lemon juice or citric acid and 175ml (¾ cup) water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. BLEND: In a food processor with the blade attachment fitted or a large blender, pulse the fruit until pureed. Pour in the sugar syrup, then pulse until well combined.
  4. STIR THE GRANITA: Pour the mixture into the chilled dish and set a timer for 1.5 hours. When the timer is up, take the dish out of the freezer and use a fork to gently bring the ice crystals that have formed around the outside into the middle of the dish.
  5. REPEAT: Repeat at half-hour intervals until the mixture is entirely frozen - this will take up to 4 hours, but the active work only takes seconds.
  6. STORE: You will end up with a big bowl of delicious, pale green ice crystals. When the granita is fully frozen, cover the dish or transfer it to an air-tight container and keep it in the freezer until needed.

Notes

See the FAQ's for troubleshooting and variations on this recipe.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 glass
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 68Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.

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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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