Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cara Cara Orange Vanilla Sorbet, aka Creamsicle Sorbet

When I said that I would try to make the Cara Cara Orange Vanilla Sorbet at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, I thought that I'd just end up using regular navel oranges. But while at the bonanza of potatoes and citrus at the Ferry Building Farmers Market, I found and snatched up Cara Cara Oranges. After the farmer tossed in a couple free satsumas, I knew I was in for a good time.

Reading sorbet recipes is sort of like reading the phone book: every entry is slightly different. Among the concerns of sorbet are adding enough sugar so that the fruit flavor is enhanced and the texture is soft instead of icy hard and not adding so much sugar that it's too sweet and it won't completely freeze. Also, each different kind of fruit and even each batch of fruit needs to be adjusted according to its own sweetness. So, watermelon sorbet at the beginning of the summer may need more sugar than at the end of the summer.

I'd been told at C's BK that a vanilla bean had been infused in the simple syrup, so with that as my guide, I winged my way to a rather satisfying dessert. Cara Cara Oranges have a slight grapefruit flavor intermingling with the orange, and that flavor came through just perfectly. It was also a desirable consistency. I woosed out with the vanilla bean, though. I thought that a half bean would be strong enough, but instead of the creamsicle effect that the sorbet at C's BK had, mine only had a subtle note of vanilla. So, I amended the recipe for a whole bean. I was tempted to scrape the vanilla seed out for more flavor, but their sorbet had no black flecks and I didn't want any grittiness. I hope that a whole bean works. Maybe other ways to enhance the vanilla flavor would be to put a vanilla bean into the sugar for long enough to make vanilla sugar, and then making the simple syrup with both the sugar and the whole vanilla bean.

Cara Cara Orange Vanilla Sorbet
Makes 4 servings
Loosely Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 c freshly squeezed cara cara orange juice
1 tbs cara cara orange zest

Combine sugar, water, and vanilla bean in a small-to-medium saucepan, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Cool and remove vanilla bean (to hasten cooling, place the syrup in a bowl, and place the bowl in another bowl filled with a mixture of ice and water).

Combine about 1 cup sugar syrup with the citrus juice. Taste and add more syrup if necessary. Stir in the zest.

Refrigerate until cool if necessary, then churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Blogger Kalyn said...

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog about the cheese sandwich controversy. I've been very touched by all the support I've gotten. Also, fun finding your blog.

5:17 PM  
Blogger McAuliflower said...

Oh heaven! I've been eating my first Cara cara's this week. They are amazingly good. I'd love to saveur this sorbet while nibbling on bittersweet chocolate.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Ivonne said...


This looks so refreshing! And reading your post just makes me feel like I'm back in San Francisco.

I love your blog!

7:08 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Great blog. I really enjoy your pictures along with the great commentary. Like Ivonne, it feels like I'm in SF again (why does it have to be freezing here on the east?!).

7:19 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Thank you all for the compliments. I'm happy that it's so evocative of SF and the area. :)

And mmmm.... bittersweet chocolate would be great with the sorbet.

9:59 PM  

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