Tangerine Sorbet

DessertIce CreamMandarin Orange

So easy! Tangerine sorbet made from fresh tangerine juice, lemon juice, and sugar.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Winter is the season for tangerines and other mandarin oranges. There’s something wonderfully comforting about enjoying a big bowl of ripe, juicy, sweet mandarins in the middle of dismal, dreary winter. Walking around the neighborhood, oranges stand out like light bulbs against their bushy green trees among most of the other trees, now skeletal from the cold.

If you love the flavor of tangerines as much as I do, mandarins are available by the box load at most markets, and Odwalla makes an excellent fresh tangerine juice that you can only buy now, during winter. Either makes a refreshing, light sorbet.

Homemade ice creams and sorbets tend to be icy, because they don’t have the stabilizers in them that commercial products have. So, they usually need to be eaten the day they are made, unless you add alcohol or corn syrup to them to help keep them smooth for a day or two more (they will eventually get icy). In this case, I couldn’t think of any alcohol to add that wouldn’t detract from the tangerine flavor, so I added a tablespoon of corn syrup (could add more), which helped to keep it from being too icy the next day. Still, it was better the first day, and more snow-like the second.

Tangerine Sorbet Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Sorbet churning time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes a little less than one quart


  • 3 cups fresh tangerine juice (or juice from mandarin oranges)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup (optional)


1 Pour tangerine juice through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Use a rubber spatula to press as much juice as you can through the sieve, discard remaining pulp.

2 Add lemon juice, sugar, and (optional) corn syrup to the bowl. Stir with a spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved.

3 Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Serve immediately, or chill for a few hours. Best eaten the day it's made.

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How to make ice cream without a machine - tips by David Lebovitz.

Showing 4 of 12 Comments / Reviews

  • Anna

    Amazing. Simply Amazing.

  • [email protected]

    I would think a shot of absolute citron or even X-Rated vodka would go well. X-Rated is grapefruit flavored.

  • Elise

    Regarding the addition of alcohol, I would try mixing some with tangerine juice to see what it tastes like un-churned first, and if the taste works for you, go for it. Vodka might work. If you eat it the same day you make it though, you don’t need to add any alcohol to it.

  • Scott at Realepicurean

    A sorbet is great between courses to refresh the palate. The best I ever had was a tomato sorbet – people always forget that tomato is a fruit and can be used as such!

  • Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    Unless the sorbet is to be served to people who do not drink alcohol, I always use one or two tablespoons of quality liqueur, either with a complimentary flavor (kirsch with cherry sorbet; triple sec with orange; limoncello with lemon etc) or plain vodka. Works very well. This allows me to make lots sorbets in summer when summer fruit are abundant and full of flavor, and eat them weeks or even months later (my little stash of frozen treats, you know, for when a I need a little vitamin boost in the dark of winter…).

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