Friday, March 8, 2013
Orange Spice Sherbet
Each year as the seasons go by, I'm always taken aback at how swiftly and effortlessly fresh fruit and vegetables flow into the market. There's something uniquely joyful and renewing about seeing the arrival of different items in our produce department even though the calendar tells us to expect them. As spring is fast approaching, I'm once again really excited to greet the grand parade of color and supreme enjoyment of berries, cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines and figs. Ah, primavera.
However, there are some gorgeous oranges available right now, so it only makes sense to take another moment to focus on the luscious fresh quality of citrus. And since I love sherbet, I decided to keep it simple and make this orange version. I was hoping to feature blood oranges but they seem to have eluded me this week. If you can find them at your local market, do pick some up and enjoy them while they last. They are such a very special treat. Their super refreshing acidity and bright red color are stunning.
Here I use ordinary navel oranges, which are always a welcome addition to any pastry kitchen. I've added a pinch of spice to the sherbet to keep things slightly more interesting. I like this subtle blend of cardamom, cinnamon and allspice but if you don't care for those, add a pinch of clove or steep some star anise. Or leave the spice out altogether and you still have a nice simple sherbet. Perfect to enjoy with your favorite cookie or a bite of chocolate.
- Lemon juice bolsters the brightness of the orange juice.
- Salt is very important for enhancing the flavor of both dairy and citrus, so add a pinch to the simmering cream and milk and then taste again and adjust for salt once you've added the orange and lemon juices.
- Add a splash of Grand Marnier for a stronger pop of orange.
- Let the sherbet sit for a few minutes to soften a bit before scooping and serving.
Orange Spice Sherbet
Makes abut 1 1/2 pints
1 C heavy cream
1/2 C milk
1/2 C sugar
zest of 2 oranges
1/4 t ground cardamom
pinch salt, to taste
1 1/2 C fresh orange juice
2 T fresh lemon juice
Combine the cream, milk, sugar, orange zest, spices and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Take off the heat, add the orange juice and lemon juice and whisk until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust for salt. Cool completely.
Pour into an airtight container and place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
Churn the sherbet according to your machine's instructions. Pour into an airtight container and pack it down firmly to eliminate any air pockets. Press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface, cover and place in the freezer to firm up.