Orange Creamsicle Granita is made with freshly squeezed orange juice, a touch of sugar & vanilla ice cream. So simple, beautiful and refreshing. It's even better than an ice cream truck Creamsicle and the perfect summer dessert.
Wash the oranges and squeeze or press the juice from the oranges into a medium-sized bowl. With the back of a small spoon, scrape the inside of the oranges to extract all the juice.
Pour and press the juice and pulp through a fine mesh strainer set over another medium-sized serving bowl.
Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the Cointreau, if using.
Pour the orange juice mixture into a lidded freezer dish large enough so the liquid is not more than 1-inch deep. Cover the dish and set it level in the freezer. Freeze the mixture and, after 1 hour, scrape it with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Freeze an additional 3 hours (at least), stirring gently with the fork, every 30 minutes. Once ice crystals form and the mixture thickens, it isn't necessary to keep stirring. The mixture can be left in the freezer several days until ready to serve. (If it becomes too hard, scrape it with a large metal spoon to break up the ice crystals.)
When ready to serve, place 1-2 scoops of ice cream into each serving dish and place a scoop of the frozen orange granita on the top or side of the ice cream. If you want to be fancy, garnish the granita with a mint leaf and an orange slice. Serve immediately.
*Note - If ultra fine sugar isn't available, it can be made very easily. Place the amount of granulated sugar needed in a food processor and process the sugar until the crystal size is much finer. Be careful not to over- process the sugar or it will turn to powdered (or confectioner's) sugar.
If a food processor isn't available, just make an orange simple syrup using 1/2 cup of the orange juice and 1/4 cup regular granulated sugar. In a small saucepan (set oven medium heat), bring the orange/sugar mixture just to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Stir until the sugar is dissolved completely. Allow the orange simple syrup to cool to room temperature and refrigerate it until cold. To make the granita, add the cold orange simple simple syrup to the remaining 2-1/2 cups squeezed orange juice, stir well, freeze and follow recipe instructions.