Calamansi Lemon & Vanilla Granita

It just happened. My four calamansi trees decided to yield fruit all at the same time with a stupendous amount. For one whole month, I had been making calamansi juice every single day for the whole family! It was a rare moment for my trees and I really appreciated every single tiny green fruit it gave us. I remember going out in the cold almost daily to gather the fruit that I would be needing to prepare the juice. It was wonderful to harvest fresh ingredients straight from the trees! 

I like regular lemons or anything citrus in general but calamansi lemons will always be THE king of citrus fruit for me. If you are not familiar with the taste, it's stronger than regular lemons, somehow reminiscent of limes (they actually look like mini versions) but less perfumed though. They are harvested while still green at the first break of ripeness. You will know when they're ready when they are not so hard anymore and tinges of yellow are coming out (see last picture). But don't worry if you harvest them while they're still hard or even when they are already yellow. You will still get good juice from them.

The Philippine cuisine is quite reliant on these lemons. In fact, calamansi is one of the staples of every home. Dipping sauces of soy sauce, fish sauce and shrimp paste are mixed with them. A lot of food, like the noodle dishes for example magically transforms to whooping good ones when calamansi is added. Calamansi juice, even if it trails behind mango & coconut drinks, is still one of the most popular juice drinks in the country.

So, as soon as I settled in my new home here, these plants were the first that I thought of having. All of them are between 10 - 13 years old and have given me continuous fruit, even in winter. They're already winter-hardy so I don't take them indoors at the first sign of fluctuating temps like in their first year. Besides, all four of them are little trees now!

With all the pitchers of calamansi juice this past month, I was able to save some of the juice to try the granita. Quite simply, it's like calamansi juice that's frozen with an added touch of vanilla which makes it more fragrant. There is just a slight difference in preparing it compared to the juice (see Calamansi Juice with Mint) and you have to make this mixture a bit stronger than the juice because when it freezes, the taste lessens

I hope you enjoy this one and enjoy the rest of the week!

Similar Recipes:

Calamansi Juice With Mint 
Granita al Limone 
Pomegranate & Lemon Spritzer  

Calamansi Lemon & Vanilla Granita

Serves 4
  • 750 ml. water
  • 3/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 250 grams calamansi or calamondin lemons, juice only
  • 1 vanilla pod (sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped out with the tip of a knife) or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water, sugar (or honey) and the vanilla until the sugar melts. Let it cool.
  2. Add the calamansi juice. You can adjust the taste at this point. Note: The taste should be stronger than a regular juice because this mixture will be frozen.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a container and put in the freezer until frozen. You can also churn this is an ice cream maker to break the crystals but don't churn long.
  4. Mix the granita once in a while (preferably every 30 minutes) to avoid solidifying.
  5. If the granita solidified a bit, transfer it to a blender and pulse until the ice breaks up then serve immediately.

  • n a small bowl or cup, squeeze all the calamansi through a small strainer to separate the seeds from the juice.  Discard the seeds.   Add 3 tablespoons honey and dilute with the juice.  It's better to mix less sweetener at the beginning then adjust it later according to your taste.  Mix until honey has become liquid. 
  • Mix the mixture with the water in a pitcher.  Add the remaining honey to adjust the taste.
  • Add the mint leaves and ice.  
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