Have you ever tasted something so deliciously fresh and vibrant, that you couldn't stop eating it ........... until the bowl was squeaky-clean-empty? That's how we were with this Pink Citrus Granita; with fresh lemon, lime and grapefruit juice and zest, it absolutely bursts with delightful flavor. A splash of Grand Marnier takes the already wonderful granita to the crème de la crème level.
What is a granita? Well, if you asked my husband, he might make up an answer and tell you very matter-of-factly something like this; "A granita is a Señorita's mother's mother." or maybe "It's a place in Spain where the pigs wear skirts or pants, but only on Saturdays." And you might even believe him. He can be quite serious/silly like that. But me, I would never almost never dream of spoofing you. I'm much too sophisticated for that. Aren't you glad I'm the one writing the blog?
(editor's (aka husband & photographer) note: don't believe a word!)
Seriously, if you've never made or tasted granita, you're in for a wonderful and simple-to-make treat. It's actually an Italian confection and, unlike custard, ice cream and sorbet, you don't need any fancy equipment; just a baking pan and a fork. Pretty cool, huh?
You can use any juice or liquid, even chocolate to make granita and the process is super easy. Just prepare your liquid mixture and pour it into a baking pan. Place the pan in the freezer and set a timer for one hour, then give it a stir to redistribute the ice crystals that are beginning to form. Repeat this simple procedure twice and that's pretty much it! It needs an overnight stint in the freezer to solidify. An hour before serving you scrape it with a fork and the delicious results are granita! Voila!
We do enjoy an indulgent dessert occasionally here at The Café like the ones I shared on Monday in my Five Sweet Sensations for Your Sweetie post, but a granita like this is just as delicious and much more in line with a healthy lifestyle.
So pull out your prettiest bowls (I found these beauties at a fun little consignment shop) and whip up a batch of this heart healthy dessert for your Valentines. Don't be surprised if they lick the bowls squeaky-clean-empty!
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice from approximately 1 large lemon
- 2 cups fresh red or pink grapefruit juice
- zest of 1 medium grapefruit
- zest of 1 medium lemon
- zest of 1 medium lime
- 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about a minute or two. This is called a simple syrup. Set simple syrup aside to cool.
When completely cooled, add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch pan and place in the freezer for one hour or until mixture begins to turn icy at the edges of pan.
Remove from freezer and stir with a fork, scraping icy mixture off of the edges. Return to freezer for another hour and repeat stirring to redistribute ice crystals. Mixture will be quite slushy at this point.
Return to freezer for another hour then stir again with a fork. Cover and freeze overnight or at least 4 hours.
An hour before serving, remove granita from freezer and use a fork to scrape frozen mixture down the length of pan forming icy flakes. Cover and return to freezer for 1 hour. Serve scoops of granita in pretty bowls. (Granita will not form a solid scoop like ice cream or sorbet, but will be more like a bowl of delicious flavored ice crystals.)