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.
Tangerine and Olive Oil Sorbet
2 cups fresh tangerine juice (or other orange juice)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp good-quality olive oil
In a medium saucepan, combine tangerine juice, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve all of the sugar. Remove from heat and whisk in olive oil. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
Churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions.
Needful ThingsJanuary 24, 2013
Such a refreshing-sounding treat. I’m drowning in Clementines so I think I’ll have to try this.
LindaJanuary 24, 2013
Looks and sounds amazing. I’d never have thought about olive oil in a sorbet. I’ll have to try it with some blood oranges while they are around. Love them! Thanks!
Amanda @ Once Upon a RecipeJanuary 24, 2013
I’ve been meaning to try to make sorbet in my (somewhat) new ice cream maker. I never would have thought to add olive oil, but it sounds interesting. Yum!
JorgeMay 12, 2014
I have tried Alice Medrich’s tip for making both ice cream and sorbet alike without a proper churning machine and it works fine: just froze the mixture in a large tray as stated above, then cut it to chunks with a strong fork or spoon and use a food processor or a blender to whip it close to a runny mixture that is still very cold and smooth and then put this mixture back on the freezer. I advise using something with the ‘pulse’ option for beginning and a powerful blender if you don’t have a food processor. Also use the quantity of chunks you see the machine will process without forcing its engine (in other words, avoid burning it). You can repeat the process to oblivion if desired 🙂