Making clementine granita has become a Christmas tradition in our house. I first made it a few years ago for a fresh, festive, and light Christmas Eve dessert. Served with platters of rich Christmas cookies, clementine granita is the perfect balance.
Everyone loves it and now Anna requests and expects it as part of our Christmas preparations. She’s really the one who has made this a holiday staple, and she does much of the work to make these delicious and pretty desserts.
12 clementines, plus 12 more for juicing
1/2 cup sugar
1 slice (1/2 inch) peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Here’s how to make clementine granita with pictures to guide you. We use Martha Stewart’s Clementine Granita Recipe.
Cut the tops off of twelve clementines, you’ll need to juice the insides of these as well as another twelve. You can use orange juice for the extra if you prefer. Also, juice the fruit that is in the tops.
Next, make a simple syrup with the water and 1/4 cup of the sugar, add a few slices of fresh, peeled ginger. Bring to a boil and mix so that the sugar dissolves completely. Set aside to let cool while you prepare the rest of the clementines. Before you add this mixture to the juice of the clementines, you’ll discard the ginger slices.
Carefully remove the insides of the clementines and put the pulp into a sieve or colander. Try not to tear the peel as that will become your bowl. You can see that I did rip a few a little bit, I don’t use the ones I really mess up but will use a peel if it has only a small tear. You decide how particular you want to be.
Anna loves this part and uses a potato masher to squish and squash the clementine pulp so that the juice is pushed through into the bowl below the colander. If you have a better or easier way to juice the clementines, go for it! When the simple syrup is cooled, add it to the juice (add more orange juice here if needed), and add the lemon juice. You’ll freeze this mixture.
Take the clementine skins moisten them before rolling them in sugar. Martha Stewart uses water to dampen the outside, but I like to swirl them in the sticky, juicy leftover pulp in the colander instead. I find that the sugar sticks to it better.
Using a plastic container or a glass baking dish freeze them. Something with sides works best so the shells don’t roll around. Once the clementine granita mixture and the sugared clementine peels are frozen, use a fork to scrape the granita filling and scoop into each shell. Try to do this swiftly so that it doesn’t melt. Then refreeze the filled clementines.
When you’re ready to serve your clementine granita, place them with a garnish or alone on individual dishes, or together on a decorative platter or pedestal. Enjoy!
© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014