“The simplest dessert I know” is how author Julia Turshen describes this blood orange granita in her new cookbook Small Victories. And that was all the selling it needed. After turning to this page, we promptly made the recipe and were delighted (plus, we thought it would be a fitting recipe to share with you in honor of Halloween — get it?!).
This one is as simple as promised: juice the oranges, freeze for few hours, and then scrape with a fork into sparkling crystals. What results is bright pink snow, zesty and refreshing with no added sugar. For an added kick, serving the granita with a mix of cream and mascarpone cheese offsets it with a bit of richness. We shared this dessert with Alex’s mother and stepfather, and we all couldn’t get over the flavor and texture packed into our little bowls. Slicing into those blood oranges is an added treat: they have the most beautiful, firey-rainbow interiors. And if you can’t find blood oranges, you can make this recipe with regular oranges (in fact, the inspiration was an Orange Julius!).
As two cooks who started cooking well into adulthood, we love the premise of this cookbook, all about tips and tricks learned in a lifetime in the kitchen. And we’re charmed both by the granita and its creator Julia, who recently sat down with us on our podcast to talk recipes, life, and a health challenge that’s helped her focus on what matters. She’s an inspirational soul whose experience speaks volumes, and her flavors are spot on. It’s no wonder she’s written cookbooks for Gwyneth Paltrow and made this granita for kitchen goddess Ina Garten. Hats off to Julia on a fantastic book, a delightful chat, and her passion for inspiring cooks around the globe!
- 2 cups fresh blood orange juice or regular orange juice
- ½ cup mascarpone
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Pour the orange juice into a baking dish or another large container that fits comfortably in your freezer. Freeze until solid—at least 2 hours, or up to overnight (but not much longer, or else the flavor won’t be as present).
- Once the mixture is firm, scrape it with the tines of a fork so that it breaks into a zillion
- flakes. (You can do this up to a few hours in advance, and then just store it in the freezer.)
- Just before serving, in a small bowl, stir together the mascarpone and heavy cream.
- Alternate layers of the granita and the cream mixture in small glasses or side-by-side in small bowls, working quickly so that the granita doesn’t melt too much. Serve immediately.