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Experience the essence of summer with these strawberry pudding and lemonade granita parfaits. Enjoy layers of fresh strawberry pudding crowned with effervescent frozen lemonade. The creamy pudding perfectly complements the zesty granita, offering a refreshing delight ideal for hot days!
Strawberry Pudding and Lemonade Granita Parfaits
I don’t think it is any secret that creamy desserts – i.e. pudding – are my favorite. And when you layer it with something else, I’m hooked! For example, my strawberry s’mores parfaits, or the oh-so-beautiful sparkling apple cider parfaits!
We have made granita before – in the festive holiday cranberry granita, then we layered it with pudding in the cranberry granita parfaits. But in celebration of summer, we are highlighting vibrant strawberries and lemon in this recipe!
Lemonade is the quintessential summer beverage, and I couldn’t just make any old strawberry lemonade dessert. Enter the granita.
What is Granita
Granita is like a fancier version of the shaved ice you get at the carnival or county fair. It is a flavored ice dessert made with water and a flavor, with the texture of little ice granules.
However, I didn’t want to do just water. I like a little effervescence in my beverages and why not use sparkling water instead to achieve this!
What You Need To Make the strawberry lemonade parfaits
- Fresh strawberries – I will usually insist on fresh fruit when in season. However, frozen strawberries will work.
- Fresh lemon – For the lemon zest in the granita.
- Lemonade – Store-bought is fine, though you could always make your own using my ginger lemonade recipe!
- Sparkling water – I use unflavored and unsweetened. However, use any flavor you prefer.
- Milk – Any milk fat or dairy-free alternative will work. I like to use unsweetened carton coconut milk because that is usually what is in my fridge!
- Granulated Sugar – To sweeten the pudding. You can swap in any sweetener of choice.
- Egg yolk – The yolk will help thicken the pudding and make it silky.
- Cornstarch – A key ingredient to thick pudding. You can swap in tapioca flour as well.
- Unsalted butter – The butter finishes the pudding and gives it a luxurious texture.
- Vanilla extract – For a little more flavor in the pudding.
- Small saucepan – I recommend a heavy bottom saucepan to cook the pudding evenly.
- Freezer proof dish – A small baking dish or casserole dish will work.
- Serving glasses or bowls
Tips For Making the strawberry pudding and lemonade granita parfaits
- Fresh strawberries – Since it is summer, we should take advantage of the fresh fruit!
- Any milk works – Higher milk fats and cream will yield a creamier pudding. Like my chocolate pudding – where I use whole milk and cream to get that luxurious texture.
- Use granulated sugar – Normally, I would use maple syrup in the pudding. However, for this strawberry pudding, we want the fresh strawberry flavor to really shine, and granulated sugar doesn’t impart the buttery flavor that maple syrup does.
- Strain the pudding – This is optional, but straining pudding will ensure the pudding is smooth and free of lumps and strawberry seeds.
- Cover the pudding directly with plastic wrap when chilling – Make sure the plastic wrap is touching the pudding, to keep a skin from forming on top of the pudding.
- Chill the pudding – The pudding does need time in the refrigerator to set up. Overnight is ideal.
- Use store-bought lemonade – Because it is easier! It is summer after all, and we deserve an easy summer treat!
- Lemon zest for brightness – I highly recommend using lemon zest in the granita. It really brightens the flavor and drives home the lemon flavor.
- Sweeten to taste – Keep in mind you are adding sparkling water to the lemonade, which may dilute the sweetness. You can stir in a little sugar to get your desired sweetness.
- Any sparkling water flavor – You can use a flavored sparking water to complement the flavors of the parfait. Or, unflavored will work just as well!
- Freeze the granita completely – We want the shaved ice effect of the granita. And to achieve this, the granita needs at least 6 hours in the freezer. Or overnight is even better.
- Shave the granita with a fork while it is freezing – To get the flaky and fluffy granita texture, you want to shave the frozen lemonade about every 30 minutes for up to 4 hours.
- Enjoy the parfaits immediately – This is a frozen dessert after all, and the granita will eventually melt!
Strawberry Pudding and Lemonade Granita FAQ’s
Whole milk and cream will make any pudding creamier. Although, I have tested pudding using alternative milks – like coconut milk – and the result was still a creamy pudding.
You do not, but I always recommend fresh fruit when it is in season. Fresh fruit provides a brighter and more robust fruit flavor.
Yes, and I recommend it if you have time! Pudding needs time in the fridge to set. If you can make the pudding the night before, that is ideal.
I don’t have just a plain lemonade recipe, however I do have a Ginger Lemonade recipe on the blog. You can make it as is, or omit the ginger if you prefer.
Use a fork to ‘shave’ your frozen granita. We want little granules of ice – not large chunks.
Store the pudding covered in the refrigerator and keep the granita covered in the freezer. Assembled parfaits can’t be stored because the granita will eventually melt!
Strawberry Pudding and Lemonade Granita Parfait
- 2 – Serving Glasses
- 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ cup strawberry puree (approximately 1 cup of strawberries)
- ⅔ cup milk, any kind
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup lemonade
- 1 cup sparkling water
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor. I recommend fresh strawberries if in season, otherwise frozen strawberries will work. Approximately 1 cup of strawberries will yield a 1/2 cup of puree.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the egg yolk, cornstarch, and the strawberry puree. Stir together until the cornstarch is dissolved.1 large egg yolk, 1 ¼ teaspoons cornstarch, ½ cup strawberry puree
- In a small saucepan, add milk and sugar. Heat over medium heat until small bubbles start to form along the sides of the pan. Do not boil.⅔ cup milk, any kind, 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- Temper the egg yolk – While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle about half of the heated milk into the strawberry/cornstarch mix. Then transfer the tempered strawberry mix back to the saucepan.
- Continue to heat the pudding, over medium heat while whisking constantly, until the pudding starts to thicken and bubble. Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.½ tablespoon unsalted butter, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional – Strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. This will remove any lumps or seeds from the pudding.
- Transfer the pudding equally into your serving glasses. Cover with plastic wrap, with the wrap directly touching the pudding. This will keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow the pudding to thicken even more.
- In a small shallow dish add the lemonade and sparkling water. Stir in the lemon zest. Cover tightly and freeze for 30 minutes.1 cup lemonade, 1 cup sparkling water, zest of 1/2 a lemon
- Remove the granita from the freezer. The edges and the top should have started to freeze. Scrape the mixture with a fork and freeze again. This creates the slushy granita texture. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for up to 4 hours. The granita is ready when it is completely frozen with a flaky texture.
- When ready to serve – Fluff the granita one final time before serving. Using a small cookie scoop or fork, scoop the on top of the chilled pudding and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Chill and Freeze Overnight – The pudding can chill overnight, and the granita can freeze overnight. You can stop the scrape process after about 4 hours, and just scrape and fluff the granita before serving.
- Strawberries – I always recommend fresh fruit if it is in season. Otherwise, frozen strawberries will work.
- Lemonade – I used store-bought lemonade. But you could certainly use your own homemade version.
- Sweeten to Taste – You may find diluting the lemonade with sparkling water reduces the sweetness. If so, sprinkle a little sugar into the liquid before freezing.
- Enjoy Immediately – Since the granita is frozen, it will eventually melt. The dessert is best enjoyed right after it is assembled.
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!