Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mandarin Orange Granita

Granita is an iced dessert made without milk and egg. It is similar to sorbet but only coarser. To make fine ice texture like sorbet or ice cream, I would have needed the aid of an ice cream maker... which sounds like an luxury purchase during hard times like now :-)

So, being sensitive to the public suffering (yes, I do not want to be publicly shamed like Mr Tan Yong Soon ) I chose to making granita - it does not require any special equipment and need only the most basic ingredients.

Mandarin Orange Granita

2 cups (480 ml) freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice
½ cup (100 grams) castor white sugar (or to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Cointreau (orange liquor, optional)

1. In a large bowl or measuring cup combine first 3 ingredients. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Pour the juice mixture into a plastic container (a shallow one what expose more surface area is preferred). Cover and place in the freezer until it is completely cold (about 1 hours).
3. When the mixture is about to set, use a fork to break up the ice.

4. Put it back to the freezer, and repeat step 3 at 30~60min interval (depends on your freezer) for 3 times.
5. Add cointreau (if using) and stir well for the ice to absorb the liquor. Serve.

  • I only use a coarse strainer (like the one in pix) to strain the juice. Some of the pulp will be present in the granita, which adds some bite that I enjoy. But if you prefer a smoother, strain to remove the pulps.

  • It is important to check the mixture regularly if this is first time you making it. We need to break up the ice particles before it freeze totally. Once it turns into ice block, it will be difficult to agitate with fork.

  • I didn't weight the amount of sugar. I add 1 tbsp at a time, and check the taste. The amount depends how sweet the fruit is, and your personal liking. It has to be sweeter than you want becos when it is frozen, the sweetness will be milder.

  • Do not omit lemon juice if you can help it - it brings out the sweetness and flavour of mandarin orange.

  • Omit Cointreau if you are making for kids (unless you want them to turn into alcholics at tender age). This is an orange liquor which adds flavour.

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