Recipe: Tangerine Sorbetto
Every year on Christmas Eve I serve some type of light citrus dessert. I can’t help it. It just seems the only way to go after a big fish dinner. Sometimes I’ll make a sweet blood orange salad with sugar and a touch of cinnamon, or one of those wobbly Sicilian gelatina molds (always a little tricky to turn out, unfortunately). This year I got out the ice cream maker, juiced up a bunch of tangerines, added vanilla, zest, and my most favorite Arab-Siculi flavor—orange flower water—and came up with something really nice, a keeper. The cream doesn’t really belong in a sorbetto, so it is optional, but it does add an alluring creamsicle taste.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Tell me what you cooked.
And here’s a Sicilian Christmas song to go with this Sicilian inspired dessert:
(Makes about 1½ pints)
¾ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon orange flower water
2 dozen or so tangerines
1 egg white
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Place the sugar in a saucepan. Add the water, vanilla, and orange flower water, and bring to a boil. Boil until the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes or so. Chill.
Zest two of the tangerines, and set the zest aside. Juice all of them and the lemon, making sure to remove all the pits. Let the juice chill for a few hours.
Place the tangerine and lemon juice and about ¾ of the sugar syrup in a food processor. Add the tangerine zest, egg white, and cream, and pulse a few times, just until well blended. Taste for sweetness, adding the rest of the sugar syrup if you need to (you can instead just mix everything in a big bowl, using a whisk).
Pour the mix into an ice cream maker, and churn until frozen and creamy.