Tag Archives: Sherbet

Orange vanilla sherbet

This is my favorite thing I’ve made in an ice cream machine so far. Hands down.

Seriously, y’all. This stuff is phenomenal. It’s creamy and indulgent, but not heavy, and it floats on a spoon like ice cream. The flavor is intensely, almost explosively orange, with a wallop of brightness in each bite. It’s reminiscent of a Creamsicle, or rather, of what a Creamsicle wishes it could taste like: sweet but not babyish, lush but not dense. And it’s even pretty too, with pinpricks of vanilla and tiny shreds of orange zest scattered throughout.

This is about as decadent as sherbet gets: a whole cup of cream, a whole vanilla bean’s worth of seeds, and a full shot of triple sec. That’s not an apology, mind you. I love how this is the kind of dessert you could imagine kids going nuts for (minus the booze), but also the kind of thing you can happily pamper yourself with as a grown-up. It’s refreshing and luxurious, and–dare I say it–even a little sexy.

The secret weapon here is fresh orange juice. And by fresh, I do mean squeezed. It takes a fair number of oranges to make enough juice for a batch of sherbet, but there really is no comparison. I’m lucky, and have a friend with an incredibly prolific orange tree; if you don’t, just go for the juiciest oranges you can find, the ones you would be happy eating out of hand. I can imagine this working gorgeously with tangerines, too, if you can get those more easily. Oh, and orange juice freezes beautifully, so if oranges are cheap and juicy in winter, just buy ’em, juice ’em, and store the juice till the weather heats up. I made my sherbet with frozen thawed juice, and it still blew my mind.

This sherbet is so flavorful and dreamy that just a small scoop is enough to satisfy (yes, really). On a hot-and-sticky summer afternoon, with the windows open and the fan droning, there’s absolutely nothing better.

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Blackberry-coconut sorbet

I had a cooking disaster the other night.

I was trying to make white gazpacho with crab salad for a dinner party. I never got to the crab salad portion, because the gazpacho failed spectacularly. I wanted cool, creamy, refreshing; I got watery, grainy, bland. It was inedible, even after several rounds of straining and pureeing, and eventually I had to throw the whole thing out.

I sulked. I brooded. I whined to my boyfriend. After a while, I decided I wanted something sweet as a comfort. So I opened the freezer and pulled out a container of homemade blackberry-coconut sorbet. I’d found the idea for it in a Jezebel open comment thread, of all places. There wasn’t much to go on–just a few ballpark quantities and a note that it was transcendently delicious. I couldn’t resist trying it out, and whipped up a batch of deep purple sorbet, enriched with coconut milk. The texture turned out thick, creamy, luscious–more like ice cream than sorbet.

I stuck a spoon into the container and took a taste. Instantly I was reminded of childhood summers, when we went hunting for wild blackberries in the creeks near my parents’ house. I remembered straining to reach the ripest, plushest berries at the very top of the brambles. I remembered my first big blackberry scratch, all the way up the back of my leg, and taking a swim in the local pool to dislodge the thorns. I savored that scoop of sorbet–sweet-tart blackberry, rich coconut, whispers of honey and vanilla and rum–and slowly I sank into a summery calm.

And just like that, I was kitchen-powerful again.

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