Blood Orange and Pomegranate Granita

Last week, I picked up some beautiful blood oranges from Whole Foods. They were on sale, and I figured I would find something to do with them. In fact, I found 3 things that I wanted to do with them, the first of which was a sorbet!

I originally set out to make a sorbet, but, my sorbet base was slightly too liquid and never set up in to a smooth texture that a sorbet should have.  So it’s really a granita, but that’s fine with me! A granita is semi-frozen dessert that originated in Italy. Granitas are related to sorbets, but typically have a coarser and more crystalline texture, almost like eating a snow cone. (OMG, I *love* snow cones!!) Sometimes the best recipes–and lessons–come from failures…

Blood oranges are fabulous variety of orange, with a deep red, almost blood-colored, flesh. The oranges are somewhat tart, with a hint of raspberry. They are typically slightly smaller than a typical orange and can vary in color from light pink to red to deep burgundy. And, as is worked out for me, they are typically in-season in the states during the winter and early spring (November-April). 

I know it’s a little strange that I decided to make a frozen dessert during what could possibly the coldest week this winter… But I wanted to make something that would accent the exquisite color and amazing taste of the blood oranges. (And, for some reason, I love eating cold things like ice cream during the winter!) 

I paired the unique taste of the blood orange with another wonderful winter fruit: the pomegranate, which is typically in season in the northern hemisphere between September and February. The deep red color of the pomegranate juice blends perfectly with the blood orange, and the resulting flavor combination is an interesting balance of sweet, tart, and citrus.

Click below for the recipe! Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments below! And thanks for reading! 🙂

Blood Orange and Pomegranate Granita

Yield: About 1 pint

You are going to need:

  • 2 pounds blood oranges (about 4 or 5 medium-sized oranges)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup pomegranate e juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

You are also going to need:

  • Microplane or other citrus zester
  • Small saucepan
  • Wire whisk
  • Medium bowl
  • Ice cream maker
  • Freezer-safe plastic container

First, zest one or two of your oranges, to yield 1 tablespoon orange zest and juice your oranges to yield at least 1 cup of liquid.

Next, zest your lemon to yield 1 teaspoon lemon zest and juice to yield 2 tablespoons of liquid.

In a small saucepan set over high heat, stir together the orange juice and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil to dissolve the sugar, whisking occasionally. Once the orange juice has reached a boil, remove it from the heat, and let it cool slightly.

Combine the lemon juice, pomegranate juice, zests, and liqueur in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the orange juice.

Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Once your granita base has fully chilled, freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. When your ice cream maker is done churning, transfer the granita to a freezer-safe plastic container. (The granita will only be partially frozen.) Freeze for a few hours to fully freeze the granita.

Quick tip: do not freeze your granita in the bowl of your ice cream maker. Serving it directly from the ice cream maker bowl will likely scratch and damage the bowl. Always transfer the ice cream or granita to a freezer-safe container, and then wash the ice cream maker bowl in warm (not hot!) soapy water. Never place the bowl in the dishwasher!

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze the granita base in freezer-safe bowl, preferably metal. Stir the granita every 30-minutes until ice crystals form from all the liquid. Then, transfer to a freezer-safe plastic container for storage.

The granita will keep for at least one month in your freezer. Enjoy! 😀


One thought on “Blood Orange and Pomegranate Granita

  1. Pingback: Sicilian breakfast: granita and brioche. More on Italy. | Chocolate Spoon & The Camera

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