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Mar 13, 2005 06:13 PM

Orange-beet sorbet soiree report

  • c

The sorbet soiree last night was delightful! See link for pics of the event.

My test recipe: (3-4 small servings)
2 smallish beets (about 2 in. diameter)
5 blood oranges
1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar

Directions: Wrap each beet in foil and roast in oven at 400F til very soft (about 45-60 min). Cut and reserve some long strips of peel from whole oranges to candy for garnish later. Juice oranges through a sieve; should result in a little over 1/2 cup of juice. In small saucepan, combine water and sugar over med. heat til sugar has dissolved completely.

After roasted beets have cooled slightly, peel thoroughly, halve, and place into blender w/ orange juice and half of simple syrup. Blend until smooth puree. Taste and add more simple syrup if necessary. I ended up using about 2/3 of it. If sweet enough but too thick (consistency should be soupy w/ some body), then thin w/ plain water.

Place mixture into ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer's instructions until sorbet texture is achieved. Freeze for short time if icier texture is desired. To candy peel: place reserved peel in leftover simple syrup and simmer over heat til translucent. Remove from heat to nonstick surface to cool. Best when eaten on same day.

My impressions: Beet w/ blood oranges is a winning flavor and color combo! I wanted to make something that was very concentrated in flavor, something that I'd just eat a little of at the end of a meal to cleanse the palate. Thus, this is not something you have two scoops of. Very good, but very "adult" flavor. Orange dominated a bit over beet flavor which was what I wanted. While infused ginger (not chunks) or other flavors would be interesting, I like the pure marriage btwn. these two flavors. Any feedback or ideas for future sorbet soirees welcomed!


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  1. f

    Beautiful shots!!

    I have been wanting to develop a good recipe for pomegranite sorbet using the wonderful fall pomegranites that we bought at our farmers' market. It would be great to combine the pomegranite with another fruit as well that are in season then. Kumquats, maybe?

    1 Reply
    1. re: farmersdaughter

      Oh, I saw some lovely kumquats at the Aptos market on Sat. While I think a kumquat-pomegranate sorbet would be great to try, I personally can't imagine making this at home. Juicing fresh poms seems difficult (unless you have a good juicer) and seems like one would need LOTS of poms and kumquats to get a decent amt. of juice for a sorbet. Of course, if you have the will and way, then please go for it and report back.

      I remember pom seeds being rather tart, so perhaps a sweeter fruit like strawberries would work better. Oh, now I may have to get some POM juice they sell in the market and try this w/ fresh strawberries.

    2. c
      Caitlin McGrath

      I'm linking to Ruth Lafler's report on her beet sorbet experiment for purposes of comparison and contrast.


      1 Reply
      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        Thanks for linking the report, Caitlin. I don't always use hot posts and hadn't seen it.

        Ruth: it sounds like your experiment was a success. Comparing our recipes, sounds like yours probably had more beet flavor than mine since you added quite a bit of juice. I wanted to add juice but don't have a juicer or source for the juice.

        At this point though, I think it worked quite well w/ just roasted beets and fresh OJ. Roasted beets provide intense flavor and give the sorbet a nice body IMO. I probably used about equal parts beet puree to OJ and then added simple syrup to taste. I liked gradually adding in the simple syrup so that I could control the sweetness (as I'm sure that will vary depending on how sweet one's beets and oranges are).

        Ate what was leftover last night and gotta say that I really enjoyed it! Paid a little more attn. to its flavors and the terms "grassy" and "floral" leapt out at me. Perfect transition into spring...

        Thanks for inspiring me to do this; any input from you or others is appreciated.

      2. I don't think I suggested it when I suggested the blood oranges but I thought it.

        Anyway, the other idea was for golden beets and orange oranges, or tangerines/clemintines/satsumas, etc. The beet flavors are different, and blood oranges are certainly much different from any of the orange-colored citrus.

        Third idea, based on farmersdaughter's comment about pom. juice, is to make 3 purple-red sorbets (red beet & orange; golden beet & blood orange; pom & ???). Three very similar colors but different flavors.
        Of course you said that you want a small end-of-meal thing, so three is probably overkill.

        BTW, when I make intense sorbets, I use a mellon ball to serve them, and use an old-fashioned coffee cup along with small spoons.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SteveT

          Thanks for your comments. The possibilities are really endless. I've never tasted a golden beet before, only red ones. The color from the red ones is just spectacular!

          After I served my sorbet from a regular spoon, I noticed the presentation looked kinda sloppy. My ice cream scoop was too big, and I don't have a melon baller. Plus I admit I was in a rush to snap a couple of photos and eat it. Now that I've started taking more pics of my food, I realize that I don't have what it takes to be a food stylist!