I know we’re past the midpoint of winter, but it feels like summer’s warmth is a long way away. My cure for cold-weather blues is to cram as much citrus fruit as possible into myself, which usually means I come home from the grocery store with a LOT of fruit. This week’s surplus of oranges inspired this delicious, refreshing dessert inspired by one of my food heroes, David Lebovitz. Use whatever oranges you like – blood oranges would give a fantastic colour; I used sweet Cara Caras because I love their flavour. Whatever you do, just make sure you use freshly squeezed juice. You can omit the candied peel if you like but it’s an impressive topper and provides a lovely contrast of texture.
- 6 – 8 oranges (enough to yield 2 cups / 500 mL of freshly squeezed juice)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) white sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) corn syrup (improves texture of the sorbet)
- With a very sharp knife, remove strips of orange peel (orange part only, not the white pith) from several oranges and reserve for candied peel (see below).
- Juice your oranges, measuring out 2 cups. I like to keep the pulp in for flavour.
- Put the sugar and corn syrup in a small non-reactive saucepan. Add only as much of the juice as you need to just barely cover the sugar. Place over medium heat and stir frequently until sugar is fully dissolved.
- Return the sugar and juice mixture to the remaining juice, stirring to blend.
- Place the sugar and juice in the refrigerator until it is thoroughly chilled.
- Freeze in your ice cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions.
- If making ahead, transfer the frozen sorbet to an airtight container. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the sorbet before putting the lid on the container.
- Remove the sorbet container from the freezer 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 750 mL.
Candied citrus peel
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) very thinly sliced orange peel (matchstick size or smaller)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) corn syrup (prevents crystallization)
- Pinch of salt
- Put the strips of peel in a small, nonreactive saucepan. Add just enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes to remove bitterness and soften the peel.
- Remove from the heat, strain, and rinse peel with fresh water.
- Clean the saucepan before proceeding.
- Combine the 1/2 cup (125 mL) water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in the saucepan. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan (or keep a digital thermometer close at hand) and bring to a boil.
- Add the blanched peel, reduce the heat, and cook at a very low boil for about 25 minutes, until the thermometer reads 230°F (110°C). Turn off the heat and let the peel cool in the syrup.
- Once cool, lift the peel out of the syrup with a fork one piece at a time, letting the syrup drain away. Roll however many pieces you need in white sugar and place on parchment paper to dry until ready to garnish the sorbet (use just a few pieces per serving).
- Store remaining peel in the syrup and bring to room temperature as needed before sugaring. Candied peel can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.