I’ve never gotten too excited about sorbet.
It always seemed like an ice cream substitute for the lactose intolerant. Something no one in their right mind would choose over the plainest scoop of vanilla unless they absolutely had to.
But then one blazing afternoon, I stopped by a frozen yogurt shop, and they had something on sale called a sorbet fizz, a float made with sorbet and Sprite.
The first sip was so cold, I felt like I was getting frostbite from the inside out. The intense fruitiness of the sorbet came through with perfect clarity, like the ringing of a tangerine-flavored bell.
I was converted.
This Blood Orange Sorbet doesn’t require a candy thermometer or even a saucepan. You simply pour the blood orange juice, sugar and lemon juice into a bowl, give the mixture a few quick stirs, and wait a few minutes for the sugar to dissolve. (Since blood oranges are out of season, I used packaged all-natural juice and added the lemon juice to brighten its flavor. You could just as easily use navel oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, etc.) For a little extra oomph and a smoother consistency, add a few tablespoons of Champagne, sparkling wine or Grand Marnier before you chill the mixture. Then, churn it in your ice cream maker, and freeze it until it’s firm.
The sorbet will freeze hard, so when you’re ready to serve it, it’s very important to take the sorbet out of the freezer and let it sit for five to 10 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll be scraping the surface and getting something that looks more like shaved ice. Wait a few minutes, dip your scoop into a bowl of warm water, and use the edge to gently scoop the sorbet.
Each bite is colder than cold, but as the sorbet melts in your mouth, the blood orange flavor blooms and intensifies, giving you a dessert that’s sweet but also refreshing. Like mainlining an orange grove.
The sorbet can stand on its own, but if you want to have some fun with it, add some leftover champagne for a blood orange mimosa slush. Or, use a melon baller to add a few balls of this sorbet to a melon fruit salad. Or, grab a bottle of Sprite and make your own sorbet fizz.
It might convert you, too.
Blood Orange Sorbet
Adapted from Jack Bishop’s “The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook”
- 6 medium blood oranges (or 2 cups blood orange juice) – Note: You could substitute oranges or tangerines.
- 1/2 to 1 cup sugar (Depends on how sweet your juice is. Taste and adjust.)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Champagne, sparkling wine or Grand Marnier (optional)
- Combine the orange juice, sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Stir on and off for several minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Stir in the Champagne, if using.
- Refrigerate the mixture, and then churn-freeze it in an ice cream maker.
- Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container, and freeze until firm.
- Before serving, let the sorbet sit outside the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes for easier scooping.
Nutritional Info (Per Serving) – calories: 162, fat: 0.4g, carbs: 38.2g, fiber: 0.3g, protein: 1g, PP+ = 5