London - May. 6, 2011 - Spring is here, right? I dare say the snow is permanently gone for the season, but nature can throw the odd cruel twist. In the meantime, there is nothing like a refreshing dessert to clear away any residual winter blahs that may be lingering in your mind.
I was introduced to Cara Cara oranges for the first time this year, and what a treat. They are full of sweet, orangey goodness that lends itself well to frozen dessert recipes such as the sorbet below.
Cara Caras are a hybrid navel orange that originated in Venezuela and are said to be a cross between the Brazilian Bahia and Washington navel oranges. They have a pinkish orange flesh and are sweet with a slightly tart tanginess that is pleasingly different from the average navel orange.
These beauties are readily available in Ontario, but in the absence of Cara Cara oranges any fresh squeezed orange juice can be used to make this sorbet.
Have you pulled out your lawn furniture yet? Have a seat on your porch or balcony and watch the spring flowers bloom as you enjoy this refreshing treat.
Cara Cara Orange Sorbet
2 cups freshly squeezed juice from Cara Cara oranges
Zest from one Cara Cara orange, peeled into strips
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of one lime, grated
Juice the oranges until you reach the 2-cup requirement. You don’t have to strain the pulp if that is your preference. Add the lime zest.
Put the sugar in a small saucepan with the strips of orange zest and a small handful of fresh mint leaves. Add water to barely saturate the sugar, and simmer the mixture on low until it transforms to syrup. I usually allow the syrup to simmer for a few minutes to infuse with the orange zest and mint.
Allow the syrup to cool, and then strain the mint and orange strips. Add the syrup to the orange juice mixture and stir to combine.
Process the sorbet in your ice-cream maker per manufacturer’s instructions, then place in a freezer-proof container. Freeze until set – at least four hours.
Serve with fresh mint garnish.
Tip: Use the orange / mint syrup to create wonderful and refreshing summer cocktails with fresh juices and vodka.
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