Blood Orange Fennel Granita

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Oh, the luscious blood orange tree in my neighbor’s backyard and their kindness in sharing the bounty with us every year. Thanks guys! You got to love the color of the fruit inside, such a deep red. I wanted to capture that beauty without messing around with this pretty fruit.

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Granita is a semi frozen dessert made with sugar , water and any fruit / flavoring. Originally from Sicily , it is related to sorbet. Though the ingredients of both granita and sorbet are very much similar , the difference is the method of preparation. The sorbet base is churned in an ice cream maker and then frozen , which results in a more creamier texture. On the other hand , granita base is frozen as is, scraped often with a fork to break up the ice crystals and results in a more coarse icy flakes.

This recipe uses the orange segments rather than the juice. You could taste the actual fruit! To cut the orange segments, slice off the top and bottom of the orange, then the skin(along with the white pith) and discard. Now, cut between the membranes to get the segments. Adjust the sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Why fennel seeds? The licorice taste of fennel works really well with the orange. Think fennel orange salad .

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Ingredients:

1 cup blood orange segments (about 6 oranges)

4 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon orange liquor, such as Grand Marnier

1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds

Preparation:

Add everything to a small blender and puree until smooth. I used the small jar of a Nutri Bullet. Pour into a freezer safe container with a tight fitting lid. Freeze for about 2 hours, scrape the frozen part around the edges with a fork. Place back in the freezer and repeat scraping process for about 2 more times , every 1-2 hours. Let freeze overnight. Scrape granita before serving.

Yields 1 1/2 cups

 

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