Both lush and refreshing, rosy hued blood orange sherbet is a stunning dessert. It’s easy to make, but you do need an ice cream maker. Blood oranges are seasonal and can be a bit pricey. Perhaps you will find a good buy as I did the other day. They were marked down because they were a tad past their prime, but fortunately not too far past. These crimson fleshed gems can have some give to them, but shouldn’t be too soft.
Blood oranges find their way into marmalade, Italian soda, vinaigrette style salad dressings, sorbet, gelato and cocktails.
There seems to be a bit of confusion between sherbets and sorbets. Sherbets contain cream or milk and have a silky texture. Sorbets do not contain cream or milk and have an icy, yet refreshing, texture. Both are best when they contain no water.
This sherbet has an intense blood orange flavor, not too sweet and not too tart and involves no cooking. I think you’ll love it.
1 T grated blood orange zest
1 cup superfine sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups freshly squeezed juice from about 8 blood oranges
4 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 t vodka or triple sec
2/3 cup heavy cream
In a large bowl rub the zest and sugar together with your fingers until wet and sandy. Whisk in the salt, orange juice, lemon juice and vodka. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Chill the mixture until very cold, about 2 to 3 hours.
In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Slowly drizzle the orange juice against the side of the bowl while whisking. Turn the ice cream maker on and pour the sherbet base through the feed tube. Churn until thick. Transfer to an airtight container and let harden for a few hours before serving. Keeps well for 1 week. You don’t have to add the vodka, but the texture won’t be the same and you will have to let the sherbet soften a bit before scooping. Makes 1 quart.
(adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)