Frosty, colorful snowballs (or “snoballs”) are a favorite way to cool off during New Orleans’ sweltering summer months. Locals line up at their favorite stands for Styrofoam cups packed high with the flavored shaved ice. Similar to granitas or snow cones snowballs come in all sorts of flavors, but the ice crystals are so soft and fluffy they practically dissolve in your mouth. Thanks to our Test Kitchen, you don’t have to travel to Louisiana to enjoy a snowball. This easy recipe makes a close reproduction, and all you need is a few ingredients, a food processor, and some time. Unlike a granita, which is continually scraped with a fork for an icy texture, these snowballs are as soft and creamy as sorbet. And there’s no scraping required—the frozen fruit mixture is blended in a food processor. This recipe includes variations for blueberry, lime, and watermelon snowballs. Choose your favorite flavor and enjoy a break from the heat.

Pam Lolley

Gallery

Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe Summary

active:
20 mins
chill:
12 hrs
total:
12 hrs 20 mins
Yield:
Serves 4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Process berries in a food processor until completely smooth, about 20 seconds; set aside.

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  • Bring 2 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Stir in blueberry puree; reduce heat to medium. Simmer 2 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing lightly. Discard solids. Stir lemon juice into strained mixture. Cool completely, 30 minutes.

  • Pour mixture into an 8-inch square pan; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze until completely frozen, 12 hours or up to 24 hours.

  • Break mixture into pieces using a spoon, and transfer about one-fourth of pieces to a food processor. Process until smooth but still frozen, about 1 minute; transfer to a container or serving bowl. Repeat until all pieces have been processed. Serve immediately, or cover and freeze until ready to serve.

Chef's Notes

Lime Snowballs

Serves 4
Omit Steps 1 and 2 in the Blueberry Snowballs recipe. Bring 2 1/4 cups water and 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 tsp. fresh lime zest and 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 6 limes). Cool sugar-lime mixture completely, about 30 minutes. Proceed with Steps 3 and 4 as directed. 

Watermelon Snowballs

Serves 6
Omit Steps 1 and 2 in the Blueberry Snowballs recipe. Bring 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Chill sugar mixture 30 minutes. Process
5 cups seedless watermelon cubes and the chilled sugar mixture in a blender or food processor until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing lightly. Discard solids, and stir 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes) into strained mixture. Proceed with Steps 3 and 4 as directed.

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