David Atherton’s recipe for melon and cucumber granita

Serve it plain as a refreshing cooler – or with a shot of dessert wine to create a light summer pudding

You don’t get much more refreshing than a granita. Traditionally, it is made with fruit juice and sugar, scraped at intervals as it freezes to create large ice crystals. When I first tried a lemon granita in Italy, it made me realise that I had made my own version in the 80s with my Mr Frosty ice-maker.

I don’t always look for an easy way out of time-consuming kitchen tasks, but if there is a good cheat’s way, I am willing to try it (and I no longer have my Mr Frosty). This recipe uses the fibre of the melon when blended to mimic the crystallised texture you get from scraping. You can choose for how long you want to process it – the longer you do it, the more it resembles a slushy.

I like this as a post-run cooler, but if you are making it for friends, why not pour a shot of dessert wine over it to make a light summer dessert?

½ cantaloupe melon (300g peeled)
¼ cucumber (100g)
A shot of dessert wine (optional)

Peel and chop the cantaloupe melon into 1cm cubes. Peel, deseed and chop the cucumber into ½cm pieces.

Place the melon and cucumber on a baking tray and freeze for at least four hours.

Tip the frozen melon and cucumber into a food processor and pulse into an icy mush.

Serve in a glass, then pour over a shot of dessert wine (if using).