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.

Bench notes:
- 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 cinnamon
pinch allspice
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.


Victoria said...

I happen to be staying in Atlanta helping a friend recover from surgery. Last week she asked me to get her some orange sherbet at the grocery store. Alas, the only sherbet they had was a triple-fruit version, one of them pineapple, and it was loaded with horrible ingredients, so I came home empty handed

. She does have an ice cream maker - we spent a lot of time last summer making rude amounts of gelato - so perhaps there will be orange sherbet on the menu this weekend!

This sounds good. Wouldn't it be perfect after a curry dinner?

pastry studio said...

Thanks so much for your sweet comments, pia, and for the link to your blog.

Victoria, good to see you! Hope you and your friend can enjoy this sherbet. After curry? Yes, please! And best wishes for your friend's speedy recovery.

Cheers, orange lovers!

The Devil's Food Advocate said...

Citrus is just the best. It's like liquid sunshine! Thanks for an inspiring recipe.

pastry studio said...

Helloooooo, Devil's Advocate and fellow citrus lover! Also, love your blog. That Strawberry Blood Orange Margarita has me intrigued!

Pam @ Sticks Forks Fingers said...

I just brought home a dozen blood oranges from the market yesterday with the intention of creating a blood-orange honey sorbet. This recipe wins!

Citrus just seems to be the way to go for these late winter/early spring desserts, and the perfect ending to meals that center around peas, artichokes and asparagus that are showing up in the markets and which I crave about now.

I continue to delight in your blog, and always smile on Saturday mornings when your new edition hits my inbox. Heading to the kitchen now to zest, squeeze and simmer! Thank you!

Pam @ Sticks Forks Fingers said...

Just finished my blood orange base. It is the most delicious shade of berry pink. I wanted the clean flavor you suggested, so no spices went in (though that will be a perfect addition for the more wintery months,) and I used a splash of passion fruit/cranberry Alize liqueur instead of Grand Marnier to punch up the floral notes of the oranges.

Thanks again.

pastry studio said...

Pam, thanks so much for your lovely comment and leaving me with a smile as well! I so envy your dozen blood oranges. I'm going to have to hunt some down today. But I did manage to buy lots and lots of asparagus yesterday, so I'm super thrilled. As you say, I'm craving al the new stuff - peas, baby artichokes.........


Beth said...

Your blog is really testing my giving up sweets for Lent. This recipe is going on the "as soon as Easter is here I am making this" list! Thanks for another tasty recipe.

pastry studio said...

Beth, sorry to be presenting you with such temptation but I trust you will deserve a taste when Easter arrives!


Bryan said...

Yup, blood oranges won in my test run of this, too!
The creamy pink blush is so Spring-y, it's kind of awesome.

I didn't have any milk, so I subbed buttermilk, like your lemon sherbet, and altered the spices a little (cardamom, step to the front of the line!).
But the finished product is like a grown-up version of those orange sherbet push-up-pops I used crave as a kid from neighborhood summer ice cream trucks.
Talk about a flavor bringing back memories...
Delicious stuff!

[A simple hazelnut version of this cookie might be nice to serve with it.]

Mo Sherif said...

so nice

pastry studio said...

Oh, man, I used to LOVE those orange sherbet push-up things!! SO glad you had success with blood oranges, buttermilk and cardamom. It sounds like heaven to me.
Factor in a hazelnut cookie and it's perfection!

Anastasia said...

This looks so good!!!! I never tried spicy sherbet before. Pinning it to my to-do list!