Tangerine Sorbet

This recipe is to DIE for! And the whole family can participate in the preparation. Follow Option 2 for serving and you’ll impress and satisfy all your guests.

Growing up, homemade ice cream was a regular tradition in my family. But this flavor has become a favorite. After devouring it, everyone begs for the recipe! It is a very simple yet delicious treat.

A local favorite restaurant offered this sorbet, imported from Italy. It was SO delicious, it was the only restaurant in town I wanted to visit. But the dessert was fairly expensive, so I decided to make it myself. When I discovered how easy it is to make, I became determined to share it with everyone. Enjoy!


  • 8-10 Large tangerines (Minneola Tangelos work best!) OR 15-20 Small tangerines [See Option 2 at the bottom of this page for a serving suggestion requiring additional tangerines]
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)


  • Fruit Juicer, electric or manual
  • Zester tool and/or paring knife
  • Fine mesh strainer or sieve
  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Ice Cream Maker OR Metal Baking Pan and Food Processor
  • Plastic container or Large flat baking dish


  1. Option 1: With a zester or paring knife, remove small STRIPS of peel from 2-3 of the tangerines. With the zester, scrape zest of 2-3 tangerines into medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Option 2: see below.
  3. Combine the zest, sugar, and water in saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the syrup is reduced to about 1 cup, approx. 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. Extract the juice from all tangerines to make about 3 cups of juice.
  5. Drain the syrup into tangerine juice, reserving the candied zest for garnish. Stir together. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, stirring occasionally. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. If not using an ice cream maker, place the chilled mixture in a stainless steel or other metal baking pan. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sorbet before putting the lid on the container to prevent ice crystals. Freeze until softly set, about 2 hours. Transfer the partially frozen mixture to a food processor and process until smooth and fluffy, about 10 seconds. Return the mixture to the baking pan, freeze until half-set, and repeat the process. After the second blending, transfer it to a plastic container, again placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sorbet before putting the lid on the container. Store in the freezer until the sorbet is solid, about 4 hours.
  7. Remove the sorbet from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Serve in chilled stemmed glasses, or see Option 2 below. Garnish each serving with the reserved candied tangerine zest and/or a mint sprig, if desired. Small shortbread or mint cookies make a nice accompaniment.

What you should know

Option 2: For an attractive presentation, buy 2-3 extra tangerines just for making the zest and zest strips. Cut remaining tangerines in half, juice, scrape inside clean, and preserve empty peels for serving. After the sorbet is ‘set’, scoop into peels till just overflowing with rounded top. Place in flat baking pan with sides, side by side, and freeze filled shells. (Cut small flat portion off bottom of peel if you want to set them on a plate.) Cover with plastic wrap directly touching the sorbet mounds to prevent ice crystals.

Remove 10 mins. before serving. Place in dessert bowls or plates. Garnish with candied zest strips (be creative with them!) and/or mint sprig. Small shortbread or mint cookies make a nice accompaniment.

Re: Tangerine Sorbet