Want to know what to do with your blood oranges? Make granita! An easy to make frozen treat made with freshly squeezed blood orange juice. No special equipment needed to make granita, only a fork! Make what comes down to an orange slush with real oranges.
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Many of us have had this experience - walked into a convience store, saw a brightly colored machine with lot of fun logos, drawing us to buy a frozen neon colored slush that is full of corn syrup and fake fruity flavors that tastes good and give us a sugar rush.
From time to time that sounds tempting and even fun. But there is a better way.
If you have not been introduced before, let me introduce you to granita. Just like the 7-Eleven experience this too is a frozen slushy treat. Where 7-11 has ingredients made in a lab, granita uses real fruit and has a texture that is much more sophisticated.
? What is Granita?
Simply put it's simple syrup combined with some flavorings. Then you freeze them in a pan and using a fork scrap the ice every 30 minutes to create small ice crystals.
Blood oranges are a perfect candidate for a granita. They have both sweet and acidic flavors and they produce beautiful ice crystals.
Blood oranges are in season from late December to roughly April. They are their peak of flavor usually later in the season. I find the first ones to hit the market in December to be rather lackluster in flavor.
? Learn more about when blood oranges are in season as well as the different varieties.
It's a very short list.
- Blood orange juice
You can use any variety of blood orange for this recipe. Most stores just label the all as blood oranges and mostly they are Moro. You can check the sticker to see. Sometimes you will find a different variety.
I wouldn't substitute Navel oranges in his recipe because they tend to turn bitter when juiced. Plus they don't pack the same punch of flavor as blood oranges.
Making granita is a simple process. You are basically making frozen sweetened blood orange juice. It's all about controlling the freezing process.
The sugar is dissolved completely first in the water, same process as making a simple syrup. Then the juice is added in.
Here is where technique comes in. You place the liquid into a dish.
Place it in the freezer and then every 30 minutes you take a fork and scrap it, until completely frozen. Set a timer on your phone so you don't forget. Your patience will be rewarded.
This will create really small ice crystals, which gives the dessert an excellent mouth feel. The granita is best enjoyed the day you make it, or within a couple days of making it.
? Top Tip
I like making granita in a metal pan. The metal gets colder faster than glass or plastic, which I think helps the granita stay cold when you take it out to scrap it as well as helping it cool faster in general.
? More Recipes
Use blood orange juice in any of these recipes
Blood Orange Granita
- 8 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Warm the water up just until all the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from the heat. Add the blood orange juice. Mix to combine.
- Pour into a shallow, wide aluminum square or rectangle baking pan. Place into the freezer.
- Every 30 minutes, use a fork to scrap the mixture. Scrap both vertically and horizontally.
- Repeat the process until completely frozen about 2 to 2 ½ hours.
- For best results, serve the day of, or within a couple days.
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