Light, refreshing, and super easy to make, granitas are my go-to dinner party dessert. While I do enjoy granitas in the heat of summer, I actually prefer them after heavy winter fare, when a rich dessert just feels like too much. This pomegranate granita would be wonderful after a hearty veggie stew, a feast of succulent roasted meat, or even Thanksgiving dinner.
Pomegranates have a tangy, tannic, earthy flavor which I find mysterious and totally irresistible. Straight pomegranate juice can be quite intense so I've added orange juice and zest to mellow things out just a bit, and the extra layer of flavor adds a wonderful citrusy brightness to the dessert.
We all need an easy recipe (which can be made in advance) to help out with the holidays, right?
- 3 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
- 1/3 cup tap water
- juice and zest of one large orange or two smaller satsumas
- 1/2 cup light agave nectar
- optional for serving: candied orange peel; whipped cream with a splash vanilla extract & sweetened with powdered sugar or agave
Transfer liquid mixture to a baking dish and place it in the freezer. Every hour or so, remove the dish from the freezer and scrape the solid bits with a fork. After a few hours of freezing and scraping, your granita will be ready to serve. (Keep in mind that the shallower the baking dish and more spread out the liquid, the quicker the chill.) If you forget to scrape the granita regularly and end up with a frozen block of pomegranate ice, go at it with a fork until you have a beautiful flaky consistency.
If you are a serious pomegranate lover like my kids are, serve little glasses of this granita all on its own. You can also top it with candied orange peel, or keep in mind that the granita is absolutely delicious topped with billowy sweet whipped cream.
Once it comes out of the freezer, granita melts quickly - be sure to eat it immediately after serving.
Serves 6-8. Keeps in the freezer for 2 weeks.