Ice Cream/Sorbets/Sherbets

Orange Sherbet


What is it about cold rainy weather that makes me crave ice-cream?

Yea, I dunno either…

It’s been dreary and cold by my way. The weather gurus are predicting rain for the next two days and we’ve even got some flood watch warnings. Bummer… Rainy days makes me want to break out Josie and churn out a little somethin’, somethin’.

Josie is my ice-cream maker. No, I don’t name all of my appliances – That’s crazy. I only name the ones I’m deeply connected to. I got Josie in 2007, and though I don’t break her out as often as I’d like, she churns out great ice-cream. She’s totally deserving of a name; something much more personal than “The Ice-cream Maker”.

Oranges are my favorite of all citrus fruits. I love their sweet acidic flavor and I’m never happier than when zesting an orange. Oranges remind me of spring, so I thought I’d make a lovely flavored ice-cream. Nice and bright to counteract this dreariness that seems to have settled even though its March. I did not, however, want to go through the whole cooking custard biz. I wanted more of a sorbet or a sherbet. Then I wondered “what’s the difference between the two?” And more to the point, “which one would result in the tastier frozen treat?”

I put my thinking cap on, and conducted a bit of research; meaning… I Googled it.

The difference between sorbet and sherbet is that sherbets contain milk or another fat, be it heavy cream or egg whites, so it’s similar to ice cream. Sorbets are generally granular in texture where sherbet is creamy as a result of the added fat.


Research complete… I settled on the Sherbet.

Because heavy cream makes everything taste irresistibly creamy, and I can’t resist the term “another fat”…

Because I love saying the word “Sherbet”.

Because my 2004 Cooks Illustrated Annual had a recipe I wanted to try, and that’s what it boiled down to.

I had to squeeze 6 oranges to get 2 cups of orange juice – And when I thought that maybe, just maybe I should halve this recipe because I would most likely eat all that sherbet by myself… I spilled half my freshly squeezed orange juice and had to halve the recipe anyway.


This sherbet is creamy, sweet and just bursting at the seams with orange flavor and subtle hints of vanilla. Sometimes it taste like a creamsicle, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s like a different spoonful each time.

Good stuff.

A chick has got to learn to keep her mouth shut and be careful what she wishes for.

Half of this was surely not enough.




Recipe: Orange Sherbet

Summary: Adapted from: Cooks Illustrated 2004

Half a batch wasn’t enough for m’ buds, so I churned full batch. Please see full recipe below…


  • 1 Tablespoon of grated orange zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of table salt
  • 2 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice, from about 6 oranges
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 large lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of vodka
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cups of heavy cream


  1. Process the sugar, orange zest and salt in a food processor until dampened, about 10 1-second pulses. With the machine running add the orange and lemon juices and continue to process until the sugar desolves. This should take about 1 minute.
  2. Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and strain the orange juice mixture. Stir in the vodka, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer until mixutre is very cold, about 45 minutes. Do not let the mixture freeze.
  3. When the mixture is finally cold, whip the 2/3 cups of heavy cream until soft peaks form. You can do this by hand, but I live in a future where I do everything by machine. I used my hand mixer… You should too…
  4. Whisking constantly, add the juice mixture in a steading stream, pouring against the edge of your bowl.
  5. Immediately start your ice-cream machine and freeze according to manufacturers instructions, or until the sherbet achieves a soft-serve consistency. Scoop the frozen sherbet into an airtight storage container and allow to firm up in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
To serve: Let your sherbet stand at room temperature until slightly softened. Enjoy!

Quick Notes

Note: The amount of alcohol wouldn’t allow the sherbet to really harden. I pulled it out of the freezer expecting to have it stand at room temperature, but found myself reaching for the spoon instead.

Number of servings (yield): 6

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★



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