Orange Tea Granita with Mint

2014-02-24

PREPARATION

Rub the skin of 1 large Hale orange with ¾ cup large sugar cubes until the cubes are orange colored and the pigment on the orange has been rubbed away.  Reserve the orange.  (If sugar cubes are not available, you can very thinly grate the peel of the orange and use it with ¾ cup granulated sugar.)

In stainless steel or enameled saucepan, combine 2 cups water, the sugar cubes (or sugar and peel), and 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint leaves* (or 1 teaspoon dried) and bring water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Simmer syrup for 5 minutes.  Stir in 2 tablespoons tea leaves, and let steep, covered, for 20 minutes.  Then combine in a bowl the tea syrup with ½ cup orange juice and 3 tablespoons lemon juice, all strained.  Pour the mixture into a freezer tray and freeze until firm but not frozen hard.  Put the mixture back into a bowl and break into granules with a wooden spoon.  Then back into the tray and freeze until firm.  Before serving, let the granita stand for 5 minutes or until soft enough to scoop.  Garnish each serving with fresh mint leaves.

YIELD: 4 servings.

Note:  Another good way of serving this is to put scoops into glasses of iced tea, with more mint.  Extra refreshing!

*Mint is so easy to grow.  You can keep a pot on your patio or in any sunny window.


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