There are a lot of desserts in my repertoire, but the one that I always have room for – and crave – is Tangerine Sorbet. Come winter, when the markets are loaded up with citrus, Parisians rifle through the piles on the market stands and buy ’em by the kilo. (About 2 pounds.) I do too, never failing to come home with a sack bulging with the orange beauties. In fact, I’ve been toting my wheeled shopping cart along, rather than a shopping basket, during the last few weeks to bring as many of them home as possible.
Unlike apples and pears, tangerines and other citrus aren’t usually sold by their varieties in France, like they are back in California. They’re sold by provenance: clementines from Corsica, oranges from Malta, lemons from Menton or Sicily, and pink grapefruits via Florida. So you don’t see Pixie, Fairchild, Dancy or Satsuma tangerines labeled as such.
Minneola tangelos aren’t all that common to come across. So when I saw them, which were labeled as such, I filled a bag with them. The vendor proudly told me they were a cross between a tangerine and grapefruit, to which I replied, “Yes, I know…and I love them!”
Then I added “Come to papa…” which he didn’t quite understand, and filled a second bag full of them.
I don’t just love them because of their abundant juices or their protruding nipples. But also because the juice of Minneola Tangelos is sweet yet tangy, and that contrast makes an exceptionally refreshing sorbet. Yet any tangerine (or mandarin) will do for this vibrant sorbet.
I’m still patiently waiting for composting to come to Paris and dislike throwing away bagfuls of food scraps. Faced with a cutting board-full of tangerine halves, I candied the leftover peels (using the recipe in Ready for Dessert), which was nice to serve alongside the sorbet.
I’ve got this on board to serve for dessert tonight along with a big container of candied tangerine peel, which I’ve been snacking on even since it came out of the candying syrup. Due to my unrestrained snacking tendencies, I’ve made a serious dent in my supply, but reserved enough to share with guests this evening. As for the sorbet, I made two containers of it, although I’m heading back to the market this morning to restock my supply of tangerines.
About 1 quart (1l)
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop
You can use any kind of tangerine that’s available for this sorbet. Minneola tangelos make excellent sorbet as they are full of luscious juice, and that juice has a tangy edge, which I like. For best yield, juice fruits that are at room temperature and roll them on the counter firmly with your hand to break open the juice sacs inside before you slice them in half. I don’t strain out the pulp but if there are any seeds, you can either remove them by hand, or strain them out.
I’m often asked about the difference between sorbet and sherbet. Sorbet has no dairy in it whereas sherbet often has milk, egg whites, or even buttermilk added. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, I’ve included a link after the recipe to a post about making ice cream and sorbet without a machine.
Because citrus is mostly water, the sorbet will freeze quite hard after being stored in the freezer. I added a pour of Cointreau to the sorbet mix and a bit of corn syrup (both are optional), but you can follow some of my Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer, or remove it from the freeze five minutes or so before serving, so it’s at the right temperature for scooping and serving.
- 4 cups (950ml) freshly squeezed tangerine juice (about 10 to 14 citrus fruits, depending on size)
- 1 cup (200g) sugar, or 3/4 cup sugar (150g) and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- zest of one or two tangerines
- optional: 2 teaspoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1. Mix 1 cup (250ml) of the juice with the sugar, or sugar and corn syrup, and heat – stirring occasionally – until the sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and pour the mixture back into the tangerine juice. Add the zest and the orange liqueur (if using). Chill the mixture thoroughly, at least 8 hours, or overnight.
3. Freeze the tangerine sorbet mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Related Posts and Recipes
Mandarines and their hybrids (University of California)