Nothing is easier to prepare — or more refreshing on a hot day — than lemon granita. Taste the mixture before freezing. If it seems too tart, add more sugar to taste.
Combine the water and sugar in a small nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Cool the syrup. Strain the lemon juice into the syrup through a very fine strainer, to eliminate pulp and tiny seeds. Stir well to combine.
Pour the mixture into a nonreactive gratin dish or roasting pan and place in the freezer. When the mixture starts to freeze, stir it every 10 minutes, scraping the granita off the bottom and sides of the pan so that it freezes evenly. When the granita no longer has any unfrozen liquid in it, stir well and pack in a chilled container. Press plastic wrap against the surface, cover the container with a lid, and store in the freezer. The granita is best on the day it is made. Serve the granit a in chilled stemmed glasses.
If the granita freezes to a solid block, pop it out of the container, cut into thick slices with a stainless steel knife, and chop the slices finely. Replace in the container and freeze until serving time.
© 1990 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.