The folks at P♥M Wonderful recently e-mailed me again, asking me to make some more delicious recipes using their pomegranate juice. So of course, I obliged. Last time, I made these white chocolate pomegranate cupcakes, so this time I wanted to stay away from cupcakes. Being that it was full-blown 103° record-breaking summertime weather, I thought something cold would be more appropriate. Like granita!
Granita (in Italian also granita siciliana) is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, although available all over Italy (but granita in Sicily is somewhat different from the rest of Italy), it is related to sorbet and italian ice. However, in most of Sicily, it has a coarser, more crystalline texture. Food writer Jeffrey Steingarten says that “the desired texture seems to vary from city to city” on the island; on the west coast and in Palermo, it is at its chunkiest, and in the east it is nearly as smooth as sorbet.  This is largely the result of different freezing techniques: the smoother types are produced in a gelato machine, while the coarser varieties are frozen with only occasional agitation, then scraped or shaved to produce separated crystals.
Basically, to the untrained eye & palate, it’s like an italian ice, just not as smooth. I made a coarse lemon sorbet a few years back and it was so good, I decided to do something like that, but with pomegranate.
So I was sitting there wondering what exactly I would make, what kind of pomegranate ice/sorbet/granita I would create, what other flavors to add, etc. Then I remembered this recipe. I’m one of those people who prints out recipes all day and then loses them. I find recipes for everything from homemade bread to cupcakes to Italian meringue to fried chicken and print them out, with all intentions of using them, and then they disappear. I have no idea where, probably with the socks that go missing from the dryer. And this was one of those that I didn’t personally print, but my mother gave to me, asking me to make it. I lost it, found it again, and then promptly lost it for a final time. So I searched for it on the internet and whattaya know? I found it! Big thanks to Brett Moore at about.com for this. It’s originally a recipe for flourless chocolate cakes with pomegranate granita, but being that the temperature was well over 100° the day I made it, I opted to go with just the granita.
This is a coarse granita, as you can see.
P♥M WONDERFUL GRANITA
- 3 cups P♥M Wonderful pomegranate juice (or 7 pomegranates to make 3 cups juice)
- 1/3 cup of sugar or more, to taste
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- If using P♥M Wonderful juice, set aside 3 cups of it (I used 3- 8 oz bottles of it). If using pomegranates, juice the pomegranates by cutting them in half and using a citrus reamer or juicer. Alternatively, scoop out the seeds and press out the juice through a sieve. Save some of the seeds to use as garnish if you want.
- In a bowl combine the pomegranate juice, sugar, and orange juice. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and add more sugar if you like it sweeter. Remember that freezing will dull the sweetness somewhat.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 by 13 inch pan or dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in freezer. Let the liquid freeze solid, about 3 to 4 hours. Break up the ice into large chunks and place into a bowl. Break the ice into smaller pieces with a mixer or fork (about pea size). Return the granita to the pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and return to freezer. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
Since I didn’t use pomegranates and I used the P♥M Wonderful juice instead, I had no arils to garnish it with. So instead I used fresh mint from my garden (which I posted about a few days ago). This is so easy to make, and it sounds so impressive, it’s perfect for a summer party. Its as easy as mixing ingredients in a bowl, slapping them in a pan and popping it in the freezer, and when it’s really hot & you don’t feel like baking, it’s an quick fix to satisfy your sweet tooth (without having to own an ice cream maker, which I now do! Jay got me an early birthday present so now I have this!!).