Granita is an Italian ice dessert made from sugar, water and flavorings — in this case citrus juice. It’s easy to make yet feels sophisticated and special. Perfect to punctuate an adult dinner party, but simple enough to throw together that very afternoon. You can use whatever winter citrus you like — just adjust the sugar level up or down depending on the natural sweetness of the fruit (taste as you prepare the mix). Try oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, meyer lemon or a mix. Serve by itself, or with vanilla ice cream for a grown-up Creamsicle.
(Makes about one quart)
- 5-6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-1/4 cups freshly squeezed orange or tangerine juice (see headnote)
- Juice of one half lemon
- Pinch of coarse salt
- Place water and sugar into a microwaveable glass container. Heat on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool slightly.
- Pour orange juice and lemon juice into a bowl. Add salt and sugar water. Stir to combine.
- Pour into a 8 or 9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish (or similar). Carefully place into the freezer. Freeze for about one hour, until ice crystals have begun to form. Stir with a fork to break up the ice and return to the freezer. After half an hour repeat, stirring and raking with the fork to break up the ice into small bits. Continue this process every half hour for about 2-3 hours until the granita is the consistency of a slushy snow cone.
- Serve in bowls by itself, with fresh fruit, chopped mint or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.