Blood Orange Granita

January 21, 2009


As a kid, I had a thing for magenta. Not red, not pink: magenta. I liked the sound of it, for one thing. Try it now: mahhh-gen-TAH! It also happened to be the hue of my eight-year-old self’s favorite outfit (a stripey multiples number, complete with cumberbund, if you must know). I also adored the book Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, but that’s neither here nor there, is it?


Magenta also features prominently in one of my favorite childhood memories. A distant cousin (second cousin, I think, but really: what does that even mean?) came to visit, decked out in magenta (knowing it was my favorite shade) and took me to the zoo. We rode camels and ate magenta-colored snow cones, and, well, that’s really all it takes for an eight year old, isn’t it?


Now, I know it couldn’t be any further from snow cone season at the moment, but it is citrus season (clearly). And when I found blood oranges at the market last weekend, I had an inexplicable desire to use them in a granita. (Truth be told, I also wanted to make them directly into margaritas, but I have a fiesta in my near future and I tapped my deepest reserves of restraint to hold off on the margs until then.)


So I juiced up the oranges (after marveling at their ruby insides, naturally), stirred in some simple syrup, lemon juice and a pinch of freshly-ground black pepper and let the concoction firm up in the freezer. Once it had hardened into a big jewel-toned ice cube, I scraped it with a fork, yielding a mound of fluffy shaved ice.


After one bite—imminently refreshing: tart and sweet, with a sparkling kick from the black pepper—I couldn’t help but think of that snow cone at the zoo. And, while this granita isn’t quite magenta, it’s close.


Blood Orange Granita
Bobby Flay

Printable Recipe

4 cups blood orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup simple sugar (2 parts sugar to 1 part water, heated to boiling)
1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Adjust sugar to taste. Pour liquid into large shallow stainless steel pan and place in freezer. When frozen, scrape with fork until fluffy and serve, as desired.

17 Responses to “Blood Orange Granita”

  1. sue bette Says:

    I have to agree with you on the magenta – it does sound cool and always makes its presence known. I have been WAITING for blood oranges to reach Vermont, nothing yet, and I am afraid they might not travel this far – I’m still crossing my fingers.
    The granita looks lovely and refreshing, a perfect way to brighten up a winter dinner.

  2. DD Says:

    I will definitely be going straight to margaritas with these. A nice refreshing chilled drink come summertime? Oh yes.

  3. limeandlemon Says:

    Looks really Delicious .. and so simple to make .. Laila ..

  4. Shaheen Says:

    Love the photos – I’m drooling!

  5. duodishes Says:

    Wow, black pepper. Now that’s interesting! If God gave Margaret citrus, then she has to do what she has to do with it. 🙂 (Great book that is!)

  6. Olga Says:

    That looks gorgeous! Interesting twist on adding black pepper.
    I’m planning on trying something like that with pomegranate juice.

  7. Dawn in CA Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous photos. Those colors! And did you say you RODE camels? Now that’s my kind of zoo.

  8. ingrid Says:

    That is a beautiful color. I have blood oranges in the fridge that need to be used (never had one before). Unfortunately I don’t have enough for this and there isn’t a grocery store close enough to just pick up a few more. 😦 Guess I’ll just cut ’em up and eat ’em as is.

  9. Kevin Says:

    Wait, you’ve been on a camel before? Any pigeon incidents I need to know about?
    Granita (if that’s what its really called) was delicious!

  10. Bong Says:

    oh wow! 🙂 the pics are great! the orange…yummy looking

  11. culinography Says:

    Mmmm… as a former print geek, I have a soft spot for magenta… and as a foodie, I’d like some granita, please!

    ::makes note to self to keep an eye out for blood oranges::

  12. eggsonsunday Says:

    Awesome – what a great treat for mid-winter! Nice for a change.

    Oh, and I’m totally with you on liking magenta just for the name…the color is pretty great, too! 😉 -Amy

  13. Mari Says:

    It’s just so pretty, I’m not sure if I could eat it! 😉
    Haven’t picked up any blood oranges this winter, must get on that!

  14. Aggie Says:

    Magenta reminds me of crayola crayons…one of my favorite colors too.

    I don’t know how your resisted putting some of the juice in margaritas…mmm…but wow, this granita looks so fun an totally refreshing. I so love blood oranges!

  15. Thanks, everyone!

    sue bette: They only recently showed up in Illinois. Don’t give up yet!

    duodishes: The pepper is just a little background note … you might not notice it if you didn’t know it was there. But it cuts through the tart and sweet flavors.

    Dawn: That’s how we rolled at the MN Zoo. : )

    ingrid: I halved the recipe for that exact reason and it was great.

    Kevin: Aren’t you glad you married me? : )

  16. nicole Says:

    I LOVE blood oranges. I think this must be on the weekend’s agenda … 🙂

  17. Nicole: Lucky you! I hope you enjoy it.

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