I think it was a year ago when I promised a trio of fruit sorbets. I managed to get two recipes posted pretty quickly but I never got a great idea for the third one and I kinda let it slide. Finally, ten months later and half a world away, inspiration struck. On an idyllic island in the Maldives where life slowed down and nature’s beauty felt limitless, I discovered the elegant simplicity of tangerine sorbet. It was served as an intermezzo at dinner one night and I was hooked. I think we had it for dessert every night after that. And while it’s just sorbet, I will always associate it with cool breezes, ocean waves, and crystal clear turquoise waters. Proust had his madeleines. I have tangerine sorbet.
This tangerine sorbet will become your new spring and summer dessert of choice. It’s light and refreshing and has amazing flavor despite (or maybe because) of its incredibly short ingredient list. Using an electric juicer to juice the tangerines will make the prep work a breeze.
You can use any variety of tangerines or mandarins for this recipe. The different varieties will yield slightly different tastes. I used clementines which are one of the sweeter varieties. If you like the flavor of the plain fruit, you’ll love the flavor of the sorbet. So taste a couple of varieties if you aren’t sure which tangerine variety to go with. Clementines are in abundance in Houston stores right now and I like to keep some on hand for snacks anyway. I just picked up an extra bag to make sorbet.
Making this tangerine sorbet is super simple. I wish getting back to the Maldives were as easy.
- 4 cups freshly squeezed tangerine juice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup juice with sugar and honey. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining tangerine juice. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight.
- Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions until sorbet is the consistency of thick slush. Then, transfer the sorbet to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm before serving, 3 to 4 hours.
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz.