Satsuma Creamsicle Granita 


You can of course make this any time of year, but wintertime is peak citrus season when you’ll more easily get your hands on uniquely delicious varieties like satsumas, kishu mandarins, etc. All citruses contain different levels of sweetness and sourness so this recipe will have you taste and adjust the juice before it goes into the freezer accordingly.

Active Time: 20 Mins

Total Time: 4 hrs (includes freezing)

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  • 3 pounds satsumas or other seasonal citrus (oranges, mandarins, tangerines, etc)
  • 1 lemon


  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract (or more as needed)


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup mascarpone cheese

1. Make the granita:

  • Juice enough citrus to measure 2 cups juice (the number of citrus will vary).. Transfer the juice to a loaf pan.
  • In a small resealable container, combine ¼ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons hot tap water. Cover tightly and shake furiously until the sugar dissolves.
  • Start by adding half of the syrup and ¼ teaspoon salt to the citrus juice, whisking to incorporate. Taste the mixture. Is it quite sour or quite sweet? Could it use a tad more sugar? If so, add the rest. Could it use a little more salt for balance? If so, add another ¼ teaspoon.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Transfer the loaf pan to the freezer and set a timer for 1 hour. After one hour, use a fork to stir the mixture and break up some of the frozen bits around the edges. Set another time for 45 minutes, use a fork to fluff and with a fork, and continue this process every 45 min or so until the granita is light and fluffy and flaky. This will happen over 3-4 hours. If you miss an interval, don’t fret too much, you can fluff it up later on.t’s just easier to do so incrementally and requires less elbow grease.

2. Make the vanilla bean mascarpone cream:

  • In a large bowl with whisk or electric beaters, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine 1 cup heavy cream, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Beat on medium high until soft peaks form. Taste and add more vanilla if needed (some pastes are stronger/more concentrated than others).
  • Add ⅓ cup mascarpone and continue to beat on medium until medium peaks form–do not over beat! You don’t want to churn it into butter!

3. Serve:

  • Scrape and fluff the granita again once before serving, then divide among small bowls or glasses. Top each one with a big dollop of mascarpone cream. Grate some more zest from any remaining citrus over each glass. Serve immediately! The granita will keep for weeks in the freezer. Cover with plastic wrap.

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