Granita is a dessert ice that originated in Sicily during its Arab occupation. It is also a type of Italian ice however, Italian ice as we know it has a smoother texture and granita has a more granular texture as the name suggests. Granuloso or granulare means granular in Italian. In Sicily, granita is typically served with a soft brioche bun. This refreshing dessert is great to serve after a heavy meal.
Mandarin Orange Granita
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 6 servings.
1 3/4 cups freshly squeezed mandarin or tangerine juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
6 large whole mandarin or tangerine oranges
MAKE THE SIMPLE SYRUP: In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a low simmer. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
MAKE AND FREEZE THE GRANITA: Combine the juices and sugar syrup in a bowl. Pour mixture into an 8 x 8 metal and place in the freezer.
After 1 hour, break up any ice crystals that have formed along the rim with a fork or whisk. Continue breaking up the mixture every 30 minutes until thoroughly frozen, about 3 to 4 hours.
HOLLOW OUT THE MANDARIN ORANGES: While the mixture is freezing, prepare the mandarin/tangerine orange shells. Cut ½-inch off the tops of each mandarin. Gently remove the pulp with a small spoon and discard along with the tops or reserve the orange sections for a fruit salad. Place the empty shells in a large storage bag and refrigerate until ready to serve. Fluff the granita with a fork before serving and spoon into the shells. Serve immediately.