Blood Orange Sorbet

Blood Orange Sorbet
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We’d asked at the fruit stand about the availability of blood oranges, and had gotten the response that it was unlikely any would show up. “Not popular, perhaps if you can find someone who has a tree in their backyard.” Well, that wasn’t what we wanted to hear, as we were hoping to get some, so we could make up a batch of sorbet; alas, our hopes were dashed.

Imagine our surprise when we found some at Trader Joe’s, Sunkist brand, to boot. We immediately snagged them, and with a light spring in our step, headed to the checkout (okay, maybe not that dramatic, although we were pretty excited), knowing that we’d be having sorbet soon.

Makes about 1 1/2 pints.

Blood Orange Sorbet

Blood Orange Sorbet


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup blood orange juice (from about 6 oranges)

Abbreviated Instructions

In a heatproof bowl, combine sugar and boiling water and stir until dissolved.

In small container, preferably with a pour spout, combine 1 cup of the sugar mixture (simple syrup) with the juice.

Chill the sorbet mixture completely in the refrigerator, about 4 hours.

Churn and freeze according to the instructions on your ice cream freezer.

Ingredient discussion:

blood oranges
It can be difficult to find blood oranges, but they’re becoming more common in the stores.

If you haven’t seen or heard of blood oranges, you might be surprised to find that they are indeed a deep maroon color, similar to the color of blood. Sometimes even the peels of the orange are a dark red, making them look as if they’ve been severely bruised. As far as taste, blood oranges are a bit sweeter, but with a milder orange flavor, and some varieties have a slight raspberry or cherry flavor. They seem to have a short season, so, if you see some and want to try them, buy them. They might not be available next week. You’ll note that we’re making simple syrup. It’s basically granulated sugar dissolved in water; we do that just so we won’t have sugar crystals in our sorbet. You should use simple syrup when you want to sweeten something and avoid the grittiness of sugar, such as in lemonade.

Procedure in detail:

Make simple syrup. Simple syrup is simply half sugar and half boiling water, mixed together until the sugar dissolves. Some people will mix sugar and water together in a pan, then bring it to a boil. We keep it even easier: we measure the sugar into a Pyrex measuring cup, add the appropriate amount of boiling water, and stir until the sugar’s dissolved. However you make it, the amount of sugar and water listed should make a little over 1 cup of simple syrup. Set it aside for now.

juicing blood oranges
We find the best tool for juicing is a simple glass reamer like this. You probably can pick one up at a thrift store for under a buck.

Juice and strain. We use one of those old-fashioned glass reamers. Sure, you can get some fancy-dancy newfangled model, but we find that these work just fine. Once we juice an orange, we strain the juice to remove the pulp. You don’t have to; we just think that sorbet is nicer when it’s smoooooooth.

blood orange juice
It took about six oranges to produce this much juice. That was about half the bag, but it’s worth it for the color alone.



sorbet mix
Once you combine equal parts of juice and simple syrup, let it chill completely, then churn.

Add to simple syrup. Once you have a cup of juice, add it to 1 cup of the simple syrup. We just discard the remaining simple syrup, as it’s only about a tablespoonful. Looks pretty already, right?


Refrigerate. Chill the juice and syrup mixture until it’s completely cold, about 4 hours, or longer. Chilling it thoroughly will help it freeze quickly when you’re churning.

Churn. Assemble your ice cream maker and churn the sorbet mix for about 10 to 12 minutes, following the manufacturer’s instructions, until you have sorbet.

Delightful! A tasty frozen treat that you can make yourself.

Serve and enjoy. Pack any leftover sorbet into an airtight container and keep in the freezer.

Blood orange sorbet is a feast for all the senses. It’s a beautiful magenta, making one think that this must be a raspberry sorbet; then, when you taste it, it’s a mild orange flavor with a smooth texture that delights the palate. And, don’t forget, it’s frozen, so it melts on your tongue as you eat it. Being a sorbet, it’s light and fruity, so you can have a small amount even after a large meal and feel it’s just the right little something. Definitely five stars.

Worth the trouble?

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