On Sunday, what with emergency shopping (the Smithfield ham had spoiled and we needed fresh water chestnuts for the pearl balls) and various other activities, I completely forgot to make dessert for a dinner party that night.
I realized this at 5:30 p.m.
It would have been a major deal to clear enough space to bake a cake or whatever else I could dream up from the contents of my pantry and refrigerator. Not enough time to make a custard for ice cream.
But I could make a sorbet.
It was turning dark by the time I went down into the yard and picked a basket of tangerines. I don’t know how many, way more than I needed.
At the computer, I Googled tangerine ice and tangerine sorbet.
Bingo! Up came a page from ex-pat pastry chef David Lebovitz’s blog “Living the Sweet Life in Paris.” As always, he is sensible and precise. And his recipe for blood orange sorbet could be used for other citrus, such as grapefruit, orange -- and tangerine.
It’s as simple as can be and I will remember it forever. For every cup of citrus juice, you need 1/4 cup sugar, which needs to be dissolved in a little juice over low heat in a non-reactive pan. Add it back to the rest of the juice. Chill and put in your ice cream machine. That's it.
I didn’t have time to chill, so I skipped that bit. The tangerine juice would just have to chill in the ice cream machine.
An hour or so later I had tangerine sorbet, a lovely coral color with a fine texture and the vivid and beguiling taste of fresh tangerines. The ideal dessert to cap off a Chinese feast.
In a perfect world, I would have had time to make some cookies. And I would have had some decaf in the house. But this was just fine -- more than fine.
Saved by David Lebovitz, not for the first time. Thank you, David.
P.S. The recipe is also in his book “The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments.”
Here's the recipe, but you don't really need one:
Blood Orange Sorbet
1. Juice your blood oranges. Then measure the juice.
2. For each 1 cup (250ml) of juice, figure 1/4 cup (50g) of granulated sugar to be added. For example: Use 1/2 cup (100g) sugar for 2 cups juice (500ml).
3. Put the sugar in a small, nonreactive saucepan. Add just enough juice to saturate it very well. Heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
4. Stir the sugar back into the reserved blood orange juice.
5. Chill thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker.