Tuesday, November 5, 2013

POMEGRANATE GRANITA

Granita. I'm a sucker for sparkly jewel-toned shards of delicious ice.

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?

 

INGREDIENTS
printable recipe
  • 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
In order to thoroughly integrate all ingredients, vigorously shake up pomegranate juice, water, orange juice, zest, and agave nectar in a large lidded jar or old milk bottle (you can also use a mixing bowl and whisk if that's easier for you).

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.
 
 




55 comments:

  1. Divinely refreshing and so colorful!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Erin - what a stunning and simple dessert! I am having a dinner party this Saturday and this might just be the PERFECT palate cleanser. Hope you and your family are staying warm during these chilly nights. Love the first photo - so stunning. Lisa

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    1. Lisa, do you make granitas? They are SO easy and everyone seems to love them. If you end up trying this one for your party, I'd love to hear what you think:)
      Yes, we're staying cozy on these cooler nights. I'm ready to let summer go.
      xoxo
      E

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  3. I thought that you needed special equipment to make granita. This looks very easy and pomegranate is one of my favorite flavors. Thank you, Erin

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    1. Hey Jane, no fancy equipment required for granita - just a fork and freezable container. That the simple beauty of it!
      xo
      E

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  4. That would not keep in my freezer for two weeks. LOL It would be demolished in two days, I'm sure. Gorgeous color!

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  5. Definitely a sucker for granitas too, although I would call pavlova's my go-to dessert. This pomegranate version has incredibly gorgeous colours, need to try this! Hope you're well, xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Oh I do like pavlovas too and my kids would be thrilled if I made one... great idea Denise! xoxo

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  6. Food at this time of year always seems to be so heavy and rich - this is such a beautiful and refreshing alternative. Such a gorgeous colour too! xo

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    1. Kathryn, yes! I really like sweets after dinner but often my belly is stuffed and I don't have much room. Granitas come in handy and I love how easy they are even though they feel festive.
      xoxo

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  7. These look delish and I bet they make a yummy base for some liquor in it too. How pretty, Pomegranates are so sexy too. Love it, You always find something something special.. So nice to see your posts.

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    1. Oli! You could totally make this granita mixture into a delicious cocktail. I actually made a batch of this granita with a splash of tequila in it and it was so good. Or you could add a little sparkling water to the unfrozen stuff and you've got a very nice pomegranate spritzer. So many possibilities.
      Great to hear from you as always!
      xoxo
      E

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  8. GORGEOUS! I've only ever made espresso granita, which isn't exactly great for parties with kids. Making this!

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    1. Katie, I love espresso granita! I tell you once you get started on the fruit varieties the possibilities are endless and so fun.
      Hope you're having a good week!
      xoxo
      E

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  9. What a great substitute for the usual heavier pies and such during this time of year! Sounds bright and refreshing. You made it look so beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Granita is a nice light way to end a meal and it's so naturally beautiful - I didn't do a thing:)
      xoxo

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  10. Pomegranate says holiday to me and yet I love icy things, so perfect.

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  11. Delightful! You make the dessert looks like crystals dancing in the light,

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  12. I thought agave was nothing short of high fructose syrup..what are the alternatives? However, it looks pretty and delicious

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    1. If you aren't into using agave, you can use a simple syrup made of water and refined white sugar. While I love to use alternative sweeteners in my cooking/baking, you really want a clean unobtrusive flavor in this granita. Maple syrup, honey, etc all have distinct flavors that I think would be distracting here.

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  13. That colour! Looks lovely. Thanks for the whipped cream serving tip - I bet it's absolutely luscious.

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    Replies
    1. Man is it good with whipped cream. The creaminess is so nice combined with the crisp fruit flavor of the granita. I have a little leftover and I may just need to whip up some cream right now:)
      xoxo
      E

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  14. The colour of this is so brilliant! Love it!

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  15. This is so beautiful and so seasonal, love it! Do you buy pomegranate juice or squeeze your own seeds?

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    Replies
    1. I buy a nice organic unsweetened pomegranate juice from the market - so easy! But I'm sure home squeezed juice would be incredible!
      xoxo
      E

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  16. I'm a sucker for pomegranates so am in heaven with this recipe. Stunning. I've only just discovered your site, but it is gorgeous - so many beautiful photos and recipes. I am really looking forward to reading more and more...

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    Replies
    1. Skye, thanks so much for your sweet comment, and welcome!
      xo
      E

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  17. What a beautiful color and I love that you added orange juice!! I too favor granita and sorbet during winter, it just feels right!! Gorgeous, gorgeous! I hope all is well with you! xx

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    1. Najwa, it's seems to defy logic to want chilly granitas and sorbet during winter, doesn't it? But somehow they really do feel right in contrast to all the heavy comfort foods I also crave this time of year;)
      All well here!
      xoxo
      E

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  18. Oh my goodness, that colour and texture look so beautiful together. I know it's only November but it totally reminds me of a sparkly christmas tree decoration. Love it!

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    1. Stephanie, I know what you mean.... There's something twinkly and Christmasy about the garnet colored granita. I'm getting in the holiday mood!
      xoxo
      E

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  19. Same! I love granita and make it all the time, so easy. Love serving it after rib sticking stews as a refresher - am in total agreement with you!

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    1. Anna, rib sticking stews... sign me up!!!

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  20. Aww so beautiful, I love this flavor idea! I don't find myself craving too much in the way of ice once the snow starts flying here, but I can picture a warm holiday gathering, everyone too stuffed for a heavy dessert, and slightly drowsy. This would be so perfect for those times, what a great idea, Erin!

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    1. Emma, I know it does seem weird to eat anything cold when it's chilly outside, but somehow it just works:) Are you guys snowy already? It still feels a bit like summer here. We need rain!
      xoxo
      E

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    2. Yep, we're snowy already! I got to watch beautiful flurries all day long:)

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  21. The colour of this granita is stunning. We rarely find pomegranates in New Zealand as they are not grown here but will try this when our omega plum is fruiting as the colour will be similar. Stunning photos :)

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    1. Nicola, are you a relative of Emma Galloway? What a doll she is.
      So interesting that pomegranates aren't something grown in NZ! They would love the climate. But I think you're right.... plums would be wonderful as granita as well.
      I do miss your beautiful country. Such a stunning place.
      xo
      Erin

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  22. It looks beautiful Erin. I think this would be perfect in the summer. Can't think of eating cold stuff while I'm freezing here in the office lol. I hope you are well. How's the book writing going?

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    1. Jenn, all good here. My book is done!!! Now it's with the publisher and they are finishing up design etc. I'm totally thrilled! It comes out next August.
      I hope you're well too!
      xo
      E

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    2. Oh congrats! I look forward to checking it out :)).

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  23. wow! i love pomegranates but just always ended up eating them raw. this looks creative and interesting . new fan

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    1. Thanks Preeti, We love pomegranates raw too, and it was fun to play around with the great flavor in another form. I hope you enjoy!

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  24. I was just thinking about a granita or sorbet as an option for Thanksgiving dessert. Pomegranate and orange together is so good--and this is so pretty! Love it.

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    1. Great Lisa! I think this would be so good with all those Thanksgiving flavors. Getting hungry right now:)
      xoxo
      E

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  25. This granita is absolutely stunning. Yes to easy holidays and simple pleasures!!

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    1. Yes, simple pleasures are so appreciated this time of year aren't they Elizabeth!
      xoxo
      E

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  26. that looks delicious! and that color...I'm swimming in pomegranates at the moment so this is a great recipe to use them up. Thank you for sharing! :)

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    Replies
    1. Stephanie, isn't pomegranate season great! I love that pop of color as the days get gray.

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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