Monday, March 9, 2009

(Sort of) Spring Sorbet

This weekend it hit 50 degrees in Bangor for the first time in months, and it felt glorious.

Generally we are not warm weather people. To escape the heat last summer, we headed to the frozen coast of Newfoundland, where icebergs bobbed in the north Atlantic and we wore sweaters in July. We chuckled at the overeager Newfie men who stuffed their shirts into their pockets as soon as the temperature broke 60, strutting across the parking lot of the grocery store in all their soft pink glory. How little they knew of real hot weather.

But in another indication that Bangor is a lot more like Canada than anywhere else, on Saturday I observed a gentleman walking down Broadway, his shirt draped rakishly over his finger, his pale belly exposed to the sun as he waded through the slush.

With the arrival of warmer weather emerges my ice cream maker. I'd been looking for an excuse to use it, and Hannaford was having a sale on Minneolas, 3 lbs. for $2.50. Their red-orange peels and bright citrus aroma were irresistible: sorbet! I bought 2 bags. Apparently, Minneolas are a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit, bred for easy peeling. They're in season (not in Maine, of course—somewhere else) during January and February, so get them while you can.

In searching for a recipe I ran across this helpful post. I didn't follow the recipe, but the photos are lovely, and you'll find instructions for impressing all your friends by turning hollowed-out peels into serving bowls. I left the tangerines' sweetness mostly unassisted, and balanced the sugar with some tart lemon juice.

So enjoy this light, summery dessert, but don't get carried away. This is March in Maine, after all, and now that we've enjoyed a warm weekend, we're due for another round of snow and freezing rain to put us in our places.

Tangerine Sorbet

2 cups tangerine juice (7-8 tangerines)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup warm water
juice of one lemon

In a large bowl or pitcher, whisk the sugar into the water until dissolved. Whisk in the tangerine and lemon juices. Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice if desired.

Chill the liquid in the refrigerator, and prepare according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

Because this sorbet doesn't contain corn syrup, or guar gum, or any of the mad scientists' stabilizers that keep store-bought sorbet smooth and creamy for eternity, it's best eaten within a day or two, and left out on the counter for 30 minutes before serving to soften it up.

Serves 4-6.


  1. The first picture is so adorable! Wow!

  2. I really love this idea. so awesome.


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