Today I have a refreshing summer recipe for you!
If you’ve ever been to the North End in Boston, you’ve most likely tasted Polcari’s lemon ice. When the weather’s hot, Polcari’s hundred-year-old barrel of lemon ice appears on the corner of their family owned store. For around $2 you can purchase the best lemon Italian ice in Boston.
Authentic Italian ice is easy to make. It’s not like the rock-hard frozen cups you buy in the supermarket, and it’s not icy-crunchy like a snow cone. It’s smooth like a sorbet and has the consistency of a frozen lemonade. It’s also perfect on a hot summer night or on a sore throat.
So today I’m sharing my favorite Italian Ice recipe. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures! (Plus it’s pretty frugal to make!)
Today I made Lime Italian Ice, but you can substitute any citrus fruit.
Any Flavor Italian Ice
4 cups water
4 cups sugar
Bring to boil on the stovetop, and simmer for 3 minutes until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then add
3/4 cup *freshly* squeezed lime juice, (about 8-10 limes) ( or lemon, or orange juice. Lemon and Lime juice should be freshly squeezed. Don’t use lemon juice that comes in a plastic squeezy lemon. You won’t like the results. You can use 100% orange juice with good results.)
2 cups water
2 T lime zest (lime, lemon or orange, depending on what flavor you are making.)
Combine well. Pour into 9X12 glass pyrex dish and freeze for 2 hours. Then “rake” the mixture every hour until the ice is snowy and smooth. This can take up to six hours. Transfer to a plastic container with lid for storage.
*Actual freezing time varies by freezer. Can take over night.
*”Raking” with a fork can take elbow grease! Use a large serving fork.
*The ice goes through several stages: slivers of ice, to a thick goo-ey mess that feels like you are stirring petroleum jelly, to fluffy, smooth ice.
Let me know how you like it!