Coffee granita is one of the most popular recipes for this Sicilian treat, but here we have not just coffee granita recipes, but also the ever popular orange granita recipe.
The Glory of Granita
For my birthday, I was given an ice cream maker...the fun of making ice creams and sorbets is endless. But before I had this fun little toy, I fought the summer heat using a Sicilian treat that is as easy to make as it is delicious: granita.
Granita means grainy and it looks like a course, grainy ice. At least, that's the way it looks when it is made in Palermo, where my family comes from. When made on the eastern side of the island, around Syracuse, it has a creamier texture. The smoother texture comes from the use of a gelato machine. But when I learned how to make my coffee granita recipes, no one in the neighborhood had an ice cream machine. But we did have a refrigerator and, really, that's all the machine you need.
Not Just Coffee Granita recipes
In New York, summer brings with it three inevitable things: heat, humidity, and lemon ice. In Italian neighborhoods, lemon ice was a generic term for any Italian style ice. I am partial to orange granita as a general dessert for all guests and save my coffee granita recipes for my guests who don't mind a dose of caffeine with their desserts.
The tools you will need to make granita are a 9x9 Pyrex pan or a pan of comparable size that can take a bit of scraping. Do not use a non-stick coated pan. Don't. You will be scraping the pan with a fork. A metal non-coated pan will work as well, but I have gotten the best results from Pyrex. You will also need a fork, something to juice an orange, and a zester.
Now let's get going:
- 4 large oranges
- 1 large Meyer lemon
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 2 cups water
- Zest the lemon and oranges with the zester so you have thin strips.
- Juice the oranges and lemon.
- Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Once the sugar is completely dissolved, put the zests into the liquid and bring to a boil.
- Let this boil for ten minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Save the zests.
- Add the juice and mix well.
- Pour into the 9x9 pan and place uncovered into your freezer.
- After about an hour, scrape the frozen chunks with a fork and mix them into the liquid (which should be kind of slush like).
- Keep checking and scraping about every 30 minutes.
- After about 2 1/2 hours, it is ready to serve.
- Garnish with the candied zests.
- 1 1/2 cups of strong espresso
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Mix the sugar into the espresso.
- Pour into the 9x9 pan.
- Follow the instructions above for orange granita.
I like to serve my coffee granita with a splash of Anisette and a bit of whipped cream.