I love how there are fruits for every season. Spring & early summer belongs to the berries. Stone fruit belongs to mid to late summer. Apples & pears belong to the fall. And citrus belongs to the winter.
I’ve never lived in a state where quite so much citrus is produced. I’ve had a few gleeful moments when driving past citrus trees laden with fruit. And it’s a cheerful sight to walk into the produce department of the grocery store & see giant bins filled with different citrus varieties.
Another delight with using in-season produce is the price. I think we’ve nearly eaten our weight in Texas Grapefruit and the ever-popular “Cuties” this winter.....
It’s funny how there are some fruits that I consider to be “eating” fruits and some that I consider “cooking” or “baking” fruits. And yes, there sometimes is overlap. Often, I find that citrus fits into the “eating” category (or “drinking” category). But in an effort to be a little more creative with our citrus intake, and as a throwback to one of my favorite breakfast beverages “Five Alive” I decided to make a granita.
Granitas are super easy to make. They consist of a sweetened liquid (juice, fruit puree, coffee, etc.) that is “still frozen,” meaning it does not go through an ice cream machine. The mixture is scraped with a fork to make ice crystals. And voila, you have granita!
Some people scrape & flake the mixture with a fork during the freezing process. Some people scrape after the entire thing is frozen solid. I usually intend to scrape every hour during the freezing process, but inevitably end up being busy with other things & forgetting about it..... No worries, it’s good either way.
Once the citrus was juiced for this particular citrus-flavored granita, I found myself with the peels of the fruit. They were so very beautiful & I could not bring myself to throw them away. Luckily, inspiration struck! So, I recommend saving your citrus peels (I just stuck mine in a ziplock bag & put them in the fridge) for a future use.
Stay tuned for the next post, where I will show you what I did with the citrus peels.
As one final side note, I’m back in ND for almost 2 weeks to photograph a dear friend’s wedding & to see my family. Brrrr.... it is SO COLD here! Way, way below zero (especially once the wind chill is factored....). And I think it is highly ironic that I’ve chosen to post about a frozen dessert when I am freezing in North Dakota, haha.....
Makes approximately 4 servings
2 cups of Citrus Juice (I used 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 minneola tangelo, 1 grapefruit, and 2 cara cara oranges)
1/3 c Granulated sugar, plus additional, to taste.
- Juice all the citrus, either by hand or using a juicer. Strain out any pits. (Save the citrus peel in the refrigerator for a future use).
- Whisk in the sugar. Taste and add additional sugar if the mixture is too tart for your preferences.
- Pour into a shallow baking dish (I used a loaf pan) & place into the freezer.
- Freeze 1 hour, then use a fork to flake the slushy mixture. Freeze a second hour, then repeat the flaking process. Freeze until solid to serve (or overnight) & then scrape again just before serving. If you don’t have time to scrape during the freezing process, isn’t the end of the world.
- Serve immediately! Store any leftovers in a covered container in the freezer.