Is it time for the backyard BBQs yet? With friends and food, pretty dresses, sweet smelling breeze, smoking grills and lazy swaying branches? Granitas are just perfect for such times! Crunchy, frosty, vibrant with juicy fresh fruits, it is as much of an adult’s summer dream as that of a child.
Yes I am back with the Blood Oranges, even after they have disappeared from the markets. The ruby reds teased and pleased us only for a couple of weeks in February. This is going to be my last one for this year.
A few weeks back I had gone crazy over this beautiful fruit, bought pounds of them and ate them every way we could – fresh, salsa, mousse…speak about it. The last few that I had were made in to this Granita, only I forgot all about this frozen tray until we got back from spring break. The girls remembered that I had promised them “blood orange slushies” and .it was only then that I realized that the Granita was still in the freezer.
That it was forgotten is probably a good thing. It has warmed up now and is a perfect time to “love” these. All we needed were some energetic arms and a few forks to rake the frozen tray.
Oh did I tell you I got some Orange Mint? They are delightfully fragrant and it seemed just perfect that the Granita should be garnished with these.
The ginger and black pepper are not required to make the Granita. I added them for flavor and loved it. Granita is of of those few quick and refreshing desserts and so easy that even a child can make it.
Well here it is the last of the blood oranges till I meet them again next year.
Slushies and frozen desserts and the likes always remind me of the hot, humid afternoons of the summer vacation time – many years back. The first thing I would do when I woke in the morning was make some “Kissan orange squash” and freeze it in a rectangular container. The lid of the container had my name on it. It was an old lunch box. I got so emotional when I saw that lunch box when I went back home last summer. By late afternoon, sometimes between 3 and 4 o ‘clock I would wake up from nap and the scraping would start; with fork, knife, spoon or whatever I got at hand. Since the liquid would be mostly water and less of juice, and it would not be scraped and fluffed in between, like a Granita, it would be rock hard. After a while when I would not go further than a few spoonfuls, the impatience took over. Then I would try to get the whole mass out of the box, break it and just chew on it – sticky hands, sticky mouth with drips all over, but so good.
While the dove lazily gurgled outside and the fans whirred in the semi dark rooms trying to keep the heat out, nothing tasted better than the frozen orange squash. Only Kissan. I still remember that flavor and wonder if they make it the same way now.
Blood Orange Granita with Ginger and Orange Mint
Ingredients (makes approx. 4, depending on the size of serving)
- 3/4 cup water
- 4-6 tablespoons sugar
- zest of all the oranges you will use
- 1 teaspoon ginger juice (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper – however much you want (optional)
- 3 cups chilled fresh blood orange juice – juice from 10-12 blood oranges (approx) – (or fresh orange juice – only the bright red hue of blood orange will be missing), strained
- fresh mint to garnish – I have used orange mint here
To make the simple syrup:
In a pan, combine water and sugar and bring to a boil, while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat. Combine the ginger juice and the orange zest. Let cool to room temperature.
Making the Granita:
In a glass or ceramic baking tray/dish, stir the sugar syrup (as much as you will need – to your taste) into the blood orange juice. Save the extra simple syrup if you have for any other use. Stir in the black pepper in to the juice, if you are using black pepper.
Freeze for about 1.5 hours. The juice should have started to crystallize. Stir in/scrape the crystals and freeze for another hour.
Stir again as before and then freeze for about 2 hours (or more) while stirring every 20 minutes – 30 minutes, until all the juice is frozen. Keep frozen until ready to serve/use.
Scrape again with a fork, and serve into to bowls/glasses garnish with finely chopped fresh mint.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Standing Time: 4-6 hours
Difficulty Level: very easy
Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream at Kavey Eats.