Orange Granita

Granita is an Italian granular sorbet which specifically is not made in a churn because it is supposed to have discernible chunks of ice in it. The amount of sugar syrup you use will depend on how tart the oranges are. It is usual, anyway, to add some lemon juice to cut the sugar. Beware those oranges like footballs that have a thick, spongy rind and an excessively pithy flesh. When blood oranges are available use them for their stunning colour and depth of flavour.

Ingredients

  • 12 medium-sized juicy oranges
  • 170 g/ 6 oz caster sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

Method

Wash the oranges thoroughly, dry and reserve.

Make a syrup by putting the caster sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and adding the lemon juice and 100 ml/ 3½ fl oz water. Dissolve the sugar over a low heat, then increase the heat to moderate and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes, then leave to cool.

Grate the zest off the oranges and add to the syrup. Squeeze the oranges and add their juice to the syrup mixture with 125 ml/ 4 fl oz cold water. Stir all together and pour into a dish which will go into the freezer.

Freeze, removing every 10 minutes to stir, turning the mixture thoroughly as its starts to freeze, until it is too stiff to turn, about 2 hours. You will have a nice, granular texture.

Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before scooping out portions to bring to the table. This mixture will obviously freeze as a sorbet if you have a churn.

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