Strawberry Pudding and Lemonade Granita Parfaits is like two summer desserts in one! Creamy fresh strawberry pudding is topped with a bright and sweet frozen bubbly lemonade. This is a small batch dessert – perfect for two to enjoy on a warm summer day!
Strawberry Pudding and Lemonade Granita Parfaits
I don’t think it is any secret that creamy desserts – i.e. pudding – are my favorite. And if it was a secret, well now I’ve spilled the beans! I love how creamy pudding is and that you don’t have to bake it. But most importantly, that is so versatile it can take on any flavor – like fresh strawberries.
There was a little concern that the pudding would not set into a creamy custard with the addition of strawberry puree. But that concern was quickly diminished when I realized we are still using an egg yolk and cornstarch to thicken the pudding. And both are needed because we use a healthy amount of strawberry puree. I mean, you tell me it is strawberry pudding, and I want to taste strawberry pudding!
And since it is summer, what goes great with strawberry? Well, a lot of things, but I quickly went to strawberry lemonade. Lemonade is the quintessential summer beverage, and I couldn’t just make any old strawberry lemonade dessert. Enter the granita.
What is Granita
Good question. My easy answer is: granita is like a fancier version of the shaved ice you get at the carnival or county fair. It is a flavored ice dessert with the texture of little ice granules. But if you want to dive deeper into the genesis of the granita – here is my go-to resource.
Where a lot of granita recipes may just use water plus flavorings, I didn’t want to do just water. Another weakness is a sparkling summer beverage, and sparkling water is a fun addition to the granita. While you aren’t hit over the head with bubbly effervescence when you eat this lemonade granita, you do get bubble hints. Win, win!
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What You Need To Make Strawberry Pudding and Lemonade Granita Parfaits
- Fresh Lemon – For the lemon zest.
- Lemonade – Store-bought is fine, though you could always make your own!
- Sparkling Water – Any flavor you prefer.
- Milk – Any milk fat will work. I actually used Unsweetened Coconut Milk (because that is usually the only milk in my fridge!) It is super creamy and doesn’t taste like coconut.
- Granulated Sugar
- Egg Yolk
- Unsalted Butter
- Vanilla Extract
- 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 Strawberry Pudding and Lemonade Granita
Strawberry Pudding Tips
- Fresh strawberries – Since it is summer, we should take advantage of the fresh fruit! But, if you are feeling you need a little summer refresher in winter, frozen strawberries will work. They need to be thawed before pureeing.
- Any milk works – The more pudding and custard I make, the more I find any milk will work. I used coconut milk for my pudding. Although, higher milk fats and cream will certainly 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 you cover to chill the pudding, make sure the plastic wrap is touching the pudding. This keeps 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.
Lemonade Granita Tips
- Use store-bought lemonade – Because it is easier! It is summer after all, and we deserve an easy summer treat! But by all means, you can make your own if you prefer! I used Simply Lemonade – because I like the fresh flavor.
- 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.
- Use a fork to get your shaved ice – We want little ice pieces rather than ice chunks for the granita. A fork works perfectly to get the shaved ice.
- Enjoy the parfaits immediately – This is a frozen dessert after all, and the granita will eventually melt!
Strawberry Pudding and Lemonade Granita FAQ’s
I don’t see why not. Since we aren’t working with leaveners and flours, doubling the recipe should work. One note – you will have extra granita, so you may just want to double the strawberry pudding.
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. If you do choose to use frozen strawberries, they need to be thawed before pureeing.
Egg yolks give the pudding a velvety texture and they also help to thicken the pudding.
You do not, but I recommend it to ensure you don’t have any lumps or seeds in your pudding.
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.
Of course! Just follow the directions on the package on how to make the lemonade.
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.
Of course! Any fruit puree flavor will work in the pudding. And granita is so easy to make, you can use any flavors you like.
More Frozen Summer Dessert Recipes
- Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream
- Extra Creamy Strawberry Floats (Dairy-Free)
- Watermelon Honey Lime Slushies
- Strawberry Dole Whip
- Creamy Pina Colada Ice Cream (Dairy-Free)
Strawberry Pudding and Lemonade Granita Parfait
- 2 – Serving Glasses
- 1/2 cup strawberry puree - approximately 1 cup of strawberries
- 2/3 cup milk, any kind
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk - room temperature
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 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 that have been defrosted 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 4 – 6 hours, or overnight, to allow the pudding to thicken even more.
- In a small, shallow dish – I used a small casserole dish – add the lemonade and sparkling water. Stir in the lemon zest. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 4 – 6 hours, or overnight, to allow the granita to freeze. Note – I used store-bought lemonade, but you could certainly make homemade!
- When ready to serve – Remove the granita from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for 5 – 10 minutes. Using a fork, scrape the granita into a slush. Scoop the granita on top of the chilled pudding and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Strawberries – I always recommend fresh fruit if it is in season. Otherwise, frozen strawberries will work. They will need to be defrosted before they are pureed because we don’t want them to be cold when making the pudding.
- 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.