Olive oil is a great match for citrus, because it often has zesty notes in it that are similar to the zesty flavors in citrus – although olive oil isn’t quite as sweet as an orange usually is. I like baking with it, and it goes particularly well in recipes where there is already a citrus element, like my Orange Olive Oil Muffins. It can also work in even more unexpected places, as it does in this Tangerine and Olive Oil Sorbet.
The sorbet is primarily made with fresh tangerine juice, with a little lemon juice added in to add a hint of tartness to the sweet orange juice. The sugar is just right to balance the sorbet without masking the orange flavor (and the frozen sorbet will taste less sweet than the unfrozen base does). A little bit of olive oil gives the sorbet a slightly grown-up note to it – although it is subtle, so don’t be nervous that your sorbet will taste like cold olive oil! The olive oil also serves to keep the sorbet creamy and scoopable. Many sorbets are icy, and turn out more like granita when you try to scoop them out of the freezer. That little bit of fat that comes from the olive oil helps to give this sorbet a very smooth texture.
You can easily make this sorbet with other types of oranges instead of tangerines. Blood oranges, for instance, would be a great option. Freshly squeezed juice is will always give you the best flavor. As with all ice creams, you are going to get the best results if you make this sorbet in an ice cream maker. If you don’t have one, you can still make it by pouring the mixture into a shallow dish and placing it in the freezer, then stirring it every 30-45 minutes with a fork until it freezes. This method won’t give you as smooth a finished product, but it will still be delicious.
On a hot summer day, few things are more refreshing than a slice of fresh watermelon. The only thing more refreshing than the melon itself is a generous serving of Watermelon Granita. Granita is a semi-frozen dessert made by freezing a mixture of water, sugar and flavoring (usually fruit puree or fruit juice) and stirring as it freezes to created a crystalline, slightly chunky mixture. The result is somewhere between smoothie and shaved ice, and it is a terrific way to turn fresh fruit into a summer dessert.
This Watermelon Granita starts with fresh watermelon, and plenty of it. The melon is pureed with a little bit of lime juice, some sugar and a pinch of salt. Once everything comes together into a smooth puree – and this can be done easily in a food processor or a blender - the mixture goes into a flat dish dish and into the freezer. I stir my granitas every 30 minutes as they freeze, to spread out the ice crystals as they form. This makes for a little chunkier granita that is a little easier to scrape and serve. You can also simply stir them once or twice and allow them to freeze solid, then use a sharp spoon to scrape the granita into crystals when you’re ready to serve it. This method takes a slightly longer freezing time. It will depend on your freezer and how deep your dish is, but it typically takes about two or three hours or so to freeze the granita.
You’re going to get the best results from this recipe if you start with a really good melon, of course, but turning an average melon into granita is a fabulous way to improve it. The hint of lime juice is just enough contrast with the melon flavor that the granita will taste even more watermelon-y than fresh melon! Serve this as dessert, a refreshing finish to a meal on a hot day. You can also top it with a shot of rum or splash of champagne to turn it into a summery cocktail.
I read a great post on Chowhound about making peach sorbet. The poster determined that a minimal churning time would produce the creamiest, best tasting sorbet. I, not having given a tremendous amount of thought to the issue before, would have guessed that a longer churning time would produce a creamier result. Always game for an experiment, I tried the short churning method with a plum base.
This may only be true of non-custard based sorbets, but I got great results and completely agree with the original poster. My plum sorbet was dense, creamy and delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted an ice cream, sorbet, or gelato that tasted so wonderfully like the fresh fruit. It was also very easy to whip up. You do have to blanch the plums to remove their skin, but everything else in done in the blender. Depending on how large your plums are, you may need more plums. Mine were large and I used 7 or 8 to make 4 cups of plum puree.
If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour puree into a shallow pan or bowl and stir with a fork every hour, to break up the ice crystals, until mixture is frozen.
It’s very refreshing by itself, but for an delicious and elegant dessert, serve in a glass with some prosecco or a bit of sweet white wine poured over it.
I have been meaning to make something from my Australian Women’s Weekly (AWW) booklet of Ice Creams and Sorbets for some time now. More accurately, I have been meaning to post this for some time now. Clare, of Eat Stuff, sent me this wonderful publication. Clearly, she knows me well. It covers everything from the simplest granita to the most decadent tiramisu ice cream (with liquored berries, no less). The photos are very tempting, as well.
I chose a simple sorbet, hoping to do justice to the massive quantity of blueberries that had been accumulating in my kitchen. The recipe called for including 1/4 cup of lemon juice, but I left it out. The lemon zest gave a nice hint of lemon, but I think the juice would have improved it slightly. I decided to deviate from the directions and ended up over-churning it a bit in my ice cream maker; it was a bit icy the next day. The blueberry flavor was great, though. I thought it made a very refreshing after dinner sorbet. The recipe below is paraphrased from AWW’s book.