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Cara Cara Orange Granita

cara cara orange granita | the hobby room diaries

I am generally not a fad follower.   Not that I’m immune by any means, but if I can help it, I like to hang back and see if it pans out for everyone else before I jump on board.  So a month or so ago when I started seeing ads and signs at the store for cara cara oranges, I thought, “Yeah, whatever, it’s just another orange.”

cara cara orange granita | the hobby room diaries

Our local food co-op has this program where kids can pick out an apple, orange, or banana every time they come in.  My son went a couple weeks ago with my mom and came back with his pick–a regular-looking navel orange that, when cut into, was pink-fleshed and tangy and juicy and delicious.  And it had no seeds!  We checked the receipt and it said, surprise surprise, cara cara.

Then I went to Costco for produce and lo and behold, they had eight-pound bags of cara cara oranges, so into my cart they went.  We must have eaten half the bag in the first two hours after getting home.  We all hunched over the sink, juice dripping down our chins, eating wedge after wedge, only stopping to cut another one.

Days later, now on bag number two of cara caras, the frenzy slowed and I began to look for new ways to enjoy the oranges that didn’t end with washing my face.  Even though it’s the middle of winter, it’s my opinion that anytime is a good time to eat a frozen dessert, so I decided on this orange granita.  Let me add, I had never made a granita before and it was just as easy and foolproof as it seems.

cara cara orange granita | the hobby room diaries

No cara cara oranges where you live?  Stick with regular navel oranges and taste the juice mixture before you freeze it, you may need to adjust the amount lemon juice and sugar.  Orange granita is great served alone, but is extra delicious served creamsicle-style with a healthy dollop of vanilla bean whipped coconut cream.

Cara Cara Orange Granita

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 8 to 10 dessert servings

Cara Cara Orange Granita


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar (evaporated cane juice)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 cups cara cara orange juice (about five oranges)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about two lemons)
  • Coconut or regular whipped cream (optional)


  • 1. Make simple syrup using the water, sugar, and zest (grate from one of your oranges). Place all three ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low heat and simmer for about ten minutes until the syrup is slightly thickened and syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • 2. Juice the oranges and lemons to make a total of 2 1/2 cups of juice. If you need extra juice to make the full amount, use purchased orange juice (but then you miss the cara cara flavor, so you’re better buying extra oranges).
  • 3. Strain the juice into an 8x8 baking pan (glass or metal would be best) and add the simple syrup. Stir gently and place in the freezer.
  • 4. After 45 minutes in the freezer, pull out the pan and gently stir the juice mixture, scraping any frozen bits off the edges into the middle, then replace in the freezer. Repeat the stirring twice more after another 45 minutes each time, then cover tightly with foil and leave in the freezer for another 6 or more hours.
  • 5. Just before you’re ready to serve, vigorously scrape the granita with a fork to form large, icy flakes. Divide among dishes over whipped cream or top with whipped cream, if using.
  • 6. Keep the remaining granita tightly wrapped and eat within the next couple days.


Adapted from Martha Stewart magazine December 2011, “Clementine Granita”

cara cara orange granita | the hobby room diaries

Are there any food fads (or non-food fads) that you’ve gotten on board with that you’ve absolutely loved?  That haven’t panned out?


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