At this time of year I feel a little envious of those folk who enjoy eating, and therefore make, marmalade. It seems such a happy and sensible seasonal tradition and I am a great fan of such things. I imagine them pottering in a warm fug of a kitchen, the table covered in sticky dripping pots, happy in the knowledge of their marmalade lined larder shelves for the coming year. The problem for me is I don’t like marmalade, or rather the bits. I do like orange jelly, shredless in other words, particularly on sausages but feel rustling that up might be an insult to those special Seville oranges. I could of course, be entirely selfless and make pots of the proper stuff for those who love said conserve but in all honesty I have other things to do.
My children love blood oranges which of course are around at the same time as the Seville and we amuse ourselves with cutting one into sixths and sucking them, monkey like, our lips covering the skin and then grinning to reveal. Honestly, endless fun.
So I needed to do something with oranges this cold, grey February and all that monkeying around got me thinking. Blood Orange Granita is the delicious and gratifying result. Sharp and sweet, a stunning colour and a perfect light refreshing pud after a rib sticking winter stew and dumplings supper.
Blood Orange Granita
40g caster sugar
250ml blood orange juice
Dissolve the sugar in the water over a gentle heat. Then mix with the blood orange juice and pour into a plastic container with a lid. Freeze for 3 hours and then give it a good stir, mixing the frozen edges with the probably still slushy middle. Freeze for another couple of hours and then scratch into crystals with a fork and serve in small tumblers. If you have made this ahead and it is frozen solid, take it out of the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to serve it. This would fill four small glasses but can easily be doubled.