Home Recipes Technique Equipment Ingredients Blog

Tangelo Sorbet with Cointreau

Tangelo SorbetWith all the sorbets that I have been making recently, my son has been requesting that I make an orange sorbet. Orange sorbet? Really? It just sounds so average, doesn’t it? Maybe if it was still just for breakfast I could make it. Maybe I could just take him to the mall for an Orange Julius and call it a day. When I was at the farmer’s market last weekend, I saw some beautiful tangelos. I wasn’t sure what tangelos were, but they looked and smelled enough like an orange that I figured I would make some for my son.

What in the world is a Tangelo?
Tangelos are a hybrid of a tangerine and pomelo (or grapefruit). I don’t know what a pomelo is either. Between you and me, they are very similar to oranges, but with a subtle tangerine smell and plentiful, sweet juice.

How do other people make orange sorbet?
I looked around for some recipes for ideas, since I wasn’t sure if I should add water or not. Many recipes called for boiling the zest to extract flavor and this usually meant added water unless you want to boil juice. Cafe Fernando has a great recipe for orange sorbet with no added water. Meanwhile, Cafe Lynnylu has a great blood orange sorbet recipe with one cup of water. On the other end of the spectrum, Gluten-Free Girl has a blood orange sorbet recipe with 2 cups of water to one cup juice.

Ask an expert.
I emailed David Lebovitz about water content in sorbets to find out if it should be added for less juicy fruits or when the flavor needs to be toned down—like lemons. David said he only adds water for lime and lemon sorbets. You can also add egg whites but he doesn’t like to go that route. I’ve never added egg whites to sorbet, but I see it in many sorbet recipes, and that is probably how Gluten-Free Girl can have so much water in the sorbet and maintain a good texture. I decided to skip the egg whites and I didn’t want to boil juice, so I ended up boiling just enough water to dissolve the sugar and extract flavor from the zest. I also thought I would add Cointreau instead of Grand Marnier since it has a stronger orange flavor.

Would my son like it?
My son can be pretty picky, and I debated even telling him the tangelos I bought were oranges, but he seemed ok with the fact that they weren’t really oranges. The subtly distinctive flavor of tangelos combined with Cointreau yielded this delicious sorbet recipe that everyone—my son included—enjoyed.

Ingredients for making Tangelo Sorbet.

Use a microplane grater to remove the zest from one tangelo.

Gently boil sugar, water and tangelo zest for 5 minutes.

Juice enough tangelos until you have about 4 cups of juice.

Pour tangelo juice through chinois or strainer to remove pulp and seeds.

Add 1/4 cup of Cointreau (optional).

Chill mixture in ice bath until colder than 45° F.

Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to maker’s instructions.

Once sorbet has finished freezing, transfer to dedicated container and let ripen in freezer for several hours.

The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery can be found on the Tangelo Sorbet recipe page.

  • What a delicious sorbet, Brian!
    I don’t think we can find tangelos here, would it work with tangerines?

  • Hi Patricia,I bet it would work great with tangerines or oranges. Tangelos are super juicy and the ones I used were large, so plan on using a lot of tangerines to get to around 4 cups of juice.

  • What a terrific summer splurge.

  • Ed

    I like the use of local fruit from the farmer’s market. Have you thought of trying to source as many ingredients as possible from local and organic providers. It might lead to even more interesting “twists” on traditional items.

  • This looks so yummy yummy!

  • Ed: I get most of my fruits from a local fruit stand since the timing of the local farmer’s market doesn’t work with my schedule. Quality and freshness of ingredients is critical to great food, no doubt.

    Shirley: I was really surprised at how good this sorbet was. Everyone really enjoyed it.

  • Gorgeous! This sounds like a great recipe. I’m still looking for citrus recipes since spring just refuses to come to MN!

    Thanks, Zoë

  • This looks so wonderfully fresh and I love the extra special flavour that tangellos lend to everything – making just about anything better than a plain o’le orange. No wonder your son loved it.

  • wow. that will totally be one of the reasons why i give thanks for my food! 😀

  • lovely – i just ate the last tangelo i had in the house, so i guess i’ll have to get some more. i always crave citrus more in the summer, so it’s nice to have a late-season orange.

    i’m still debating how to inaugurate the ice cream machine for the season, so i’ll have to add this to the list.

  • Zoe: Yes, this was a really nice twist on my son’s request for orange sorbet. The juice of the tangelo is plentiful and wonderful, and the cointreu really gave it a little extra softness and complexity that made this a special sorbet.

    Dayna: Agreed, I love my morning orange juice, but it is just too common to be a special treat (sorry orange julius!)

    diva: thanks for stopping by!

    michelle: sorbet is a great excuse to fire up the ice cream maker. If you are looking for something even easer, try my peach sorbet recipe–there is no cooking.

  • Karmal1

    Sorry, I must be a bit dense, but what do you do with the cooled water, sugar and zest? In your recipe above the last mention of it is it being chilled to 45 degrees. Do you mix it in with the juice and Cointreau?

  • Yeah, you mix it all together. I’ve updated the recipe to make that more clear.