2 ½ cups (625 ml) water
½ cup (100g) sugar
2 limes, preferably unsprayed
1 cup (40 g) lightly packed fresh mint leaves
½ cup (125 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 6 limes)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) white or light rum
Add the water and sugar to a small, nonreactive saucepan, then grate the zest from the 2 limes directly into the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Reserve 5 of the mint leaves, add the remaining mint to the saucepan, and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 8 minutes, then remove the cover and let cool to room temperature.
Once cool, strain the mixture into the container you plan to freeze the granite in, pressing firmly on the leaves to extract all the flavorful liquid. Discard the mint leaves. Stir in the lime juice and rum, then finely chop the reserved 5 mint leaves and add them as well. Freeze according to the instructions for freezing granita on page 145.
Perfect Pairing: if you love the refreshing taste of mint as much as I do, pair this with a scoop of Fresh Mint Ice Cream."
To freeze granite, pour the mixture into the dish and place in the freezer. Begin checking it after about 1 hour. Once it begins to freeze around the edges, take a fork and stir the mixture, breaking up the frozen parts near the edges into smaller chunks and raking them towards the center.
Return the dish to the freezer, then check the mixture every 30 minutes afterward, stirring each time and breaking up any large chunks into small pieces with a fork, until you have beautiful, fine crystals of homemade granita. If at any time the granite freezes too hard, simply leave it out at room temperature for a few minutes until it softens enough to be stirred again with a fork, and rake it back into crystals. Then return it to the freezer.
Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas and Sweet Accompaniments. Copyright 2007 by David lebovitz, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California