Apple Cider Granita

I am a magazine and catalog junkie. I have big wicker basket in the living room with all the current (six months ago counts as current, right?) issues. I have dedicated bins on a bookshelf with years of back issues (a fireman would probably have a heart attack if he saw my collection). And I always have a few stashed in the car for when I’m sitting in the school parking lot. I inherited this addiction love from my Mom, whose house looks just like mine.

I love all kinds of magazines but I’m sure it’s no surprise the foodie ones are my fav. This month’s Food Network Magazine featured 50 Things to Make with…Apples! I was super excited since I love these little pull-out books they put in each issue and helloooo! I live in WA which is, like, the apple state! Well, it’s really the evergreen state, but they do grow a lot of apples here. I didn’t even get past #3 on the list, which is an Apple Granita. As soon as I saw it I knew I was trying it out.


This granita recipe spoke to me for two reasons. One, I’ve never made granita at home but I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile. And two, WA seems confused. There were a few days in July I had to turn on the heat (for reals!) but now that it’s September our highs are in the 80′s. Which means by 4pm my house is a hot mess. Literally, since I have four kids. I started this granita first thing in the AM so we could all have an icy refreshment later this afternoon.

Yup, that’s really all you need! The recipe said to use apple juice but I love cider so I used that instead. You also need an orange, a cinnamon stick, and some whole cloves. I don’t use cloves often but I always seem to have them for some reason.

Start by pouring the apple cider in a medium saucepan.

Next you need a strip of orange zest. I’m sure they make a special tool for this but I just used my veggie peeler. Just make sure to get the zest and not the white stuff underneath. It’s bitter. Add the orange zest to the saucepan.

Next throw in one whole cinnamon stick. Or maybe just place it in gently so you don’t splash yourself. Not that I did that or anything. Ahem.

And last, but not least, two whole cloves. Cloves are really strong so a little goes a long way.

Now just simmer it all over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. The recipe says 10 minutes. I let mine go longer because one of my crazies desperately needed help with a puzzle. It still turned out fine.

Now pour the cider through a mesh strainer into an 8×8 metal pan. The recipe says to let this cool down and then stick it in the freezer. No way was I going to wait that long. It would’ve taken forever to cool down and then at least a good hour to freeze. If you use a metal pan you don’t have to worry about shattering glass and you can just put it in the freezer while it’s still hot.

When the granita is frozen, scrape the pan with a fork until you have something that looks like this. This took about 1 1/2 – 2 hours to freeze.

The recipe says to top these with shredded apple and candied ginger. Umm, candied ginger is not something I keep around the house, but I’m sure it would be delish! Instead I made some fresh sweetened whipped cream to top off this granita. A sprinkle of cinnamon, a slice of a honey crisp apple, and they’re done! You can top these however you like or just eat them as is. Crazy #2 just scooped her’s up with apple slices!

The crazies loved these! They kept calling them cider snow cones. How cute is that?!

Oh and BTW, in case you want to make this an adults-only treat, #4 on the “50 Things to Make with Apples” list is…Boozy Apple Granita! Just add 1/4 cup of the hard stuff before freezing.


Apple Cider Granita
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 cups Apple Cider
  • 1 whole Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 whole Cloves
  • 1 strip Orange Zest
  • Whipped Cream, for topping
  • Cinnamon, for sprinkling
  • Honey Crisp Apple Slices, for garnish
  1. Combine first four ingredients in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Strain into an 8×8 metal pan and freeze two hours, or until solid.
  3. Scrape pan with a fork.
  4. Top with whipped cream, cinnamon, and apple slices.


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