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  • Orange Blueberry Granita with a Hint of Ginger

    Posted on | June 26, 2007 | 28 Comments |

    Isn’t it great when you set out to make one dish and it gets messed up, but you realize that your mess can be called something else? That is what happened to me last night. I intended to make a sorbet, but it never quite became one, the texture was too coarse, and looked very much like granita. I have never made a granita before, so I wasn’t really sure if I can call my creation by the name. An online search brought up the following in WikiPedia.

    Granita (in Italian also granita siciliana) is a semi-frozen dessert of sugar, water, and flavorings from Sicily, Italy. Related to sorbet and italian ice, in most of Sicily it has a coarser, more crystalline texture.

    Technically this is not a granita I guess. By definition, granita is frozen solid overnight, then scraped or ground to form ice crystals. I didn’t freeze the liquid solid, I scraped the semi-solid frozen ingredients every hour or so at least four times, and then froze the contents overnight to form the final product. To make a sorbet, I should have been processing the mixture in the food processor. My food processor was in use at the time, and being too lazy to wait and clean it. I ended up using a combination of hand blender and a fork to process the ingredients. Guess that caused the granita-esque texture. May be it is time to invest in an ice cream maker if I want to make smooth sorbets!

    Well, call it a granita or a sorbet, this was well worth the effort. There is nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold sorbet granita on a hot-ish summer day. My hint of ginger unfortunately didn’t come through, due to the strong orange flavor. You can either omit the ginger, or try increasing the quantity. All of us loved the taste, though my dad complained that he could taste plain ice, I guess he was expecting an ice-cream like texture and taste, the only frozen dessert he is familiar with. Guess I need to educate my parents on the subtleties of fine food, as soon as I get a handle on simple things like difference between granitas and sorbets myself.


    • 2 cups fresh blueberries
    • zest from one orange
    • 1 tbsp grated ginger
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 cups orange juice
    • 1/4 cup lime juice
    • 3 tbsp Triple sec or any orange flavored liqueur (optional)


    In a sauce pan, add blueberries, water, sugar, ginger and orange zest and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

    Pass this mixture through a strainer, while pressing down on the blueberries with a wooden spoon to get as much liquid out as possible.

    Once the strained liquid is cool, add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.

    Pour the liquid into a shallow dish and freeze till it is semi solid. Take it out of the freezer and scrape it with a fork. Repeat the process every hour or so till the contents are crystallized. Not sure how long it can be kept in the freezer, it kept the consistency and the texture even after a day.

    This is my last minute entry for A Fruit A Month – Orange hosted by the much talented Sharmi of Neivedyam. AFAM is the brainchild of Maheswari of Beyond the Usual.

    I am also taking this frozen delight to gorgeous hostess Meeta’s for her Monthly Mingle; this month’s theme is Scream For Ice Cream. It is going to be one cold party… brrrrrrrr….

    Technorati tags:
    Category: Berries, Desserts, Recipes

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    28 Responses to “Orange Blueberry Granita with a Hint of Ginger”

    1. Archana, mama of twins
      June 26th, 2007 @ 6:46 am

      it looks so great whatever you want to call it. The colors are really deep and beautiful. Lovely. Lovely. Yes, its past my bed time and here I am ogling your lovely grasorb.

    2. Meeta
      June 26th, 2007 @ 7:43 am

      granita, sorbet whatever i want a spoon to try this. Sig, your berry craving matches mine and I think I really need to come over to have some berry fun with you!

    3. Roopa
      June 26th, 2007 @ 7:46 am

      you guys really make me crave for some berries here we don’t get so much of these berries. Even if a get i dare not to try any recipes only for garnish.granita looks delicious.

    4. Jyothsna
      June 26th, 2007 @ 10:08 am

      Looks berry berry good, Sig! We hardly find these berries here and they are so obnoxiously priced!

    5. Raaga
      June 26th, 2007 @ 10:44 am

      Looks lovely Sig. My orange entry is also quite like yours in that I started to make something and I ended up with something else.

    6. Rachel
      June 26th, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

      i love granita! there are different ways of making it, one is to scrape repeatedly.

    7. indosungod
      June 26th, 2007 @ 12:30 pm

      Lovely Color and for the heat a great cooler! Seattle is getting that hot? When we are sweltering the subtle differences between Sorbet and Granita don’t matter.

    8. Richa
      June 26th, 2007 @ 1:18 pm

      such a pretty color :) and here you are “churning” up new recipes ;) love the ginger flavor, u think @ 2tbsp should do it? a much needed summer treat!

    9. Sandeepa
      June 26th, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

      You got such a lovely colour out of it…total wow !!!
      Can understand your dad :) To make healthy popsicles for my daughter I froze watermelon juice and after two licks she says…this tastes like water..huh

    10. Mishmash !
      June 26th, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

      Sig, colour and presentation is good, so as long as you dont tell your guest all that history behind this dish, am sure they will enjoy :D Learn to keep secrets ;) :) ))


    11. Ramya's Mane Adige
      June 26th, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

      OMG!!!! This one looks so gorgeous!!! Love the color…..

    12. Anita
      June 26th, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

      A rose, by any other name…

      Ah, berries, berries everywhere.. (more sighing)…Looking brilliant, I’ll do it with mangoes, just you wait!

    13. bee
      June 26th, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

      psst, sig, between you and me, when a sorbet doesn’t quite become a sorbet, i add it to margaritas, and it never disappoints. :-D

    14. Vini K
      June 26th, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

      Hi Sig,nice sorbet or should I say granita?wither way it does not matter.What matters is the excellent mix of fruits and the gorgeous colour!

    15. Sharmi
      June 26th, 2007 @ 6:06 pm

      the color of that granita looks so beautiful. its not a liquid drink kind right? It make me so happy to see that picture on a hot day:)) thanks so much for the entry.

    16. Dee
      June 26th, 2007 @ 9:39 pm

      wow this looks great sig! great entry!

    17. Anonymous
      June 26th, 2007 @ 11:44 pm

      hey sig

      Have been following your blog religiously! I live in Oregon and often visit Seattle so your restaurant reviews are very helpful!Thanks..

      Anyways, I was wondering if you happen to have a prosecco cocktail recipe handy? I know I can scrouge the internet for ideas but was wondering if you had a tried and tested one.


    18. Suganya
      June 26th, 2007 @ 11:44 pm

      Sorbet, granita, icecream.. anything is fine with me in this hot weather.. Beautiful presentation.

    19. Cynthia
      June 27th, 2007 @ 4:27 am

      Send me some to cool down here in hot Barbados.

    20. Shantanu
      June 27th, 2007 @ 4:43 am

      Looks good though! However, with the monsoons and the incessant rains in Pune means it is Pakora and Samosa time (as opposed to sorbets, ice-creams and granitas)!

    21. Sig
      June 27th, 2007 @ 5:00 am

      Archana, :) Thanks, lol that is better than blog hopping hungry which is what I normally do… what a torture…

      Meeta, I knew you’ll like it…

      Roopa, if berries are in short supply, the best way to consume them is just eat those as such, why ruin a good thing? :)

      Jyo, thank you berry much :) … well, we need something here right… you have all those nice mallu restaurants in the middle east, which will more than make up for the lack of berries….

      raaga:) good thing about fruit based desserts are that they will never be completely ruined, you could eat it in some form… :)

      rachel, :) that is good to know, so this really is granita then… thanks!

      Indo, no it is not that hot yet… :) that is why I said hot-ish :D … we get a few hours of nice weather once in a while though…

      Richa, I really wished the ginger flavor came through… I don’t know if 2 tbsp will do the trick, next time I will try increasing the quanitity and see if I can get it right…

      Sandeepa, that is one of the main reasons I love berries, apart from the taste, the beautiful colors the dishes turn into… :) lol, yeah I am sure if I give my dad watermelon popsicles he will say the same thing…

      Shn, you are so right :) I always blab about whatever is wrong with the recipe… I should really learn to keep secrets… :D

      Ramya, thanks :)

      Anita, hey I will take Mangoes any day over berries… :) … lucky you, I still can’t forget that picture of mango slices you had up… yumm….

      Bee :) nice trick…. coming to think of it, all that is missing from the ingredient list is some tequila, to make this into a nice frozen margarita… guess what I am going to do with the leftover granita… :)

      Vini, thanks :)

      Sharmi, no it is not liquid, you need a spoon to have this, it is more like an icy slush… thanks for the event, looking forward to the roundup

      dee, thanks :)

      atgc, thanks for your nice words… Unfortunately I don’t know any cocktail with prosecco, neither does Siv… Let me know if you find a nice recipe… always looking for new cocktail ideas…

      Suganya, thanks :)

      Cynthia, this will be perfect in Barbados… :) unfortunately it is still not sorbet weather in seattle…

    22. Sig
      June 27th, 2007 @ 5:02 am

      Shantanu, :) over here it is pakora and samosa time year round, probably 4-6 weeks of ice-cream time… so no, you are not getting any sympathy from me… :)

    23. Asha
      June 27th, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

      Hi Sig,no I am not back yet,had some time,thought I would check few blogs.
      Granita looks fabulous.Wish I could have some here,so hot in here in this city.Check my blog and see if you can guess where I am!;D
      See you later.

    24. Bharathy
      June 27th, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

      Looks lovely,Sig..I had one similar type of dessert In Paris Cdg while waiting for our flight..hope we had this..less sweet,sour,with the taste of berry..loved it with a dollop of icecream..

    25. Jyothsna
      June 28th, 2007 @ 6:19 am

      Haha Sig! The grass is greener on the other side, ain’t it :)

    26. Priyanka
      July 9th, 2007 @ 8:02 pm

      looks very tempting. Will give it a try.

    27. Anjali J.
      March 27th, 2008 @ 10:59 am

      wow!this looks deicious. :drool: refreshing.. cant wait to try this..

    28. Krystian
      January 4th, 2013 @ 12:59 am

      This is beautiful. I love the skepcled top as well did you somehow manage to get the vanilla bean seeds to beautifully stay in one layer, or are those poppy seeds? Great pairing with the pineapple granita as well, and I like how an ice cream maker isn’t necessary.