Recipe by LilKiwiChicken
The sweet of all sweet..............to quench your thirst for complete "heaven" in a dish .......................fruits, juices, citrus, fresh mints.....could be that you will fall in love. Towards the back of the local trattorie along the slight dirt pathway was a large flourishing mint patch that held many Italian dishes, beverages, and desserts hostage. The scent from that mint on this hot sultry night in Sicily, coupled by the ripe scent of blood oranges big as plums hanging with the branches of the tree above; perfumed the air as the warm breezes overtook our appetites, minds, and souls. Our wonderful group of friends that was made up "Los Jefes" was a bit tired from a long day of visit with neighboring towns and small villas. We decided to stop our travel at this amazingly quaint, beautiful local trattorie. Oh, how we rejoiced with this simple, but glorious Orange, Apple and Mint Granita. This was the special of the late afternoon, early evening, as the harvest had just completed and we were able to partake of this special treat at the end of the long, but glorious day. While there we tried to get Mama" to part with the recipe. Unfortunately, no matter how much coaxing, promises, and smiles she wouldn't part with her family recipe. However; we had our memories, the taste still fresh in our minds, and we knew the fruits that were used. So "Los Jefes" put our heads together (and Chef floWer as the recipe writer) and (LittleKiwiChook as our taster) and came up with this honest replica of the sites, smells, and tastes of this Granita. Each one of us decided on which ingredient to add and why we loved it so. This brought so many memories it was an ease to do. With ripe, succulent blood oranges, crisp green apples, and married with fresh mint, we allowed this to frost all together thus producing a truly satisfying, most refreshing Granita. A treat that will bring all the joys of this special place and special time together to enjoy on some special evening ahead. Cook time doesn't include freezing.
Top Review by Enjolinfam
Delicious and easy! I already knew this would taste great because of all the rave reviews and I wasn't disappointed. However, I was sceptical about it being as simple as everyone stated and was happily surprised to see just how easy it was to throw together and then let it freeze on it's own! I used the food processor method. I will make this again as it's always hot here in the Philippines and we're always wanting icy treats to cool us down! I didn't use optional ingredients; the orange-flavored liqueur or Grand Marnier and it was still fabulous! Made for ZWT4 - Los Jefes de la Cocina!
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, fine
- 1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored & chopped into small chunks
- 4 cups orange juice or 4 cups blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (optional) or 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)
- 4 mint leaves
Directions See How It's Made
- In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, orange zest & mint to the boil. Reduce heat immediately and simmer until sugar dissolves (It's important to make sure the sugar dissolves completely, otherwise it's a disaster).
- Strain to remove the mint, then put the syrup back into the pan.
- Add apples & cook until the apples are soft and pulpy. Take saucepan off heat and allow to cool (you can cheat & put this in the fridge if you like to speed the process up)
- Put orange juice, lemon juice, and orange-flavored liqueur or Grand Marnier (if you're using them) into a blender along with the apple-mint syrup. Blend until smooth.
- Food Processor Method - Pour the granita mixture into a freezer proof dish, cover with plastic wrap and allow to freeze solid - for best results overnight.
- Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving - this allows it to soften slightly - then either process the granita in a food processor or use a fork scrape it into fine crystals.
- Alternative method - Place plastic wrap over pan and place pan in freezer. After 45 min or when ice-crystals have begun to form around edges of pan, use a fork to scrape up frozen chunks and mix into the rest of the frozen mixture. Return to freezer and continue to "rake" granita every 30 to 45 minutes until there isn't any liquid left in the granita.
- To serve spoon granita into dishes or glasses and garnish with mint. Serves 4 - 6.