You know what we love? When recipes are so simple they’re impossible to mess up, yet they’re beautiful and delicious enough to serve at a dinner party. That’s how we feel about this grapefruit-blood orange granita. This recipe takes about 10 minutes to make and is basically a grown up version of the shaved ice you ate every summer as a kid – and still maybe do.
This time of year isn’t exactly bountiful when it comes to produce options. You’re looking at months of kale and root vegetables and, if you’re lucky, a dalliance with a new squash variety. Every winter the outlook feels grimmer as we look for the light at the seemingly never-ending apple tunnel.
Thankfully, we do have something to cheer up our waning palette and that’s citrus season. We know, we know, it’s not exactly local when you live in Brooklyn. But, if you look hard enough, you can find places that sell family-farmed citrus that’s grown sustainably. That’s gotta be good enough in our desperation, right?!
We think so – and this granita is sure to invigorate your taste buds. The sweetness of the sugar is balanced by the tartness of the grapefruit and the bitterness of the Campari (if you choose to add it, which we highly recommend). Blood orange juice is a welcome complement that adds flavor and makes the color really pop. After a heavy winter meal of beouf bourguignon, this zesty granita will cleanse your palette and make you feel light – a welcome refreshment. Plus, it looks like snow (fit for Barbie’s Dream House), and that’s pretty cool.
We’ve also included a recipe for candied grapefruit peel, which is a more elaborate garnish to our simple dessert. We’ll admit that it takes some time to make, but it’s a great way to preserve winter flavor. And aside from being delicious on top of granita, it’s perfect on its own as well, especially with an afternoon cup of tea. Whenever we make it, we like to put it in jars and give it away to friends – it’s definitely the type of gift that impresses (“you can make that stuff?!?!” is a common response).
You certainly don’t need the candied peel to serve this for dessert. We also like to serve the granita with a splash of champagne, which is fun, festive and, well, much easier. But, if you have some time, you should really give candying a try if only to impress your friends.
Grapefruit Blood Orange Granita
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 cup grapefruit juice
- ½ cup blood orange juice
- Zest of one grapefruit
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon campari (optional)
- Mix all ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour into a baking dish and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until frozen.
- Scrape with a small fork until it is broken up and fluffy.
Candied Grapefruit Peel
- 2 grapefruits (halved and juiced)
- 4 c water
- 2 c granulated sugar + more for tossing
- Put peels in a heavy bottom saucepan and cover with ample cold water. Bring to a boil, drain completely and repeat process four times.
- Scoop out the fleshy bit of the grapefruit and slice into ¼ inch strips. Place 4 cups water and 2 cups sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over high heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Add the peels and boil for about 45 minutes, or until translucent. Remove peels from syrup and let dry overnight on a wire rack. Toss in sugar once dry and serve.
*** TIP: Retain grapefruit sugar syrup for cocktails.
Photos taken and styled by Ali + Echo.
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