Homemade Orange Sorbet Recipe with Fresh Oranges

Orange sorbet is a refreshing, light dessert that’s perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a hot summer day or a cozy winter evening.

Sorbet is a frozen dessert made primarily from fruit and sugar, and unlike its cousin gelato, it doesn’t contain dairy, making it a fantastic option for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.

The best types of oranges to use for sorbet are common Valencia or blood oranges, each variety bringing its own unique flavor to the sorbet.

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The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity and the room it leaves for creativity. With just a few basic ingredients and simple steps, you can create a dessert that looks and tastes gourmet.

Orange sorbet is versatile – it can be enjoyed on its own, as a palate cleanser between courses, or paired with other desserts for a more elaborate treat.

I’m going to show you how to make the orange sorbet at home, WITH and WITHOUT ice cream maker. Let’s take a look at the world of homemade orange sorbet and discover how to make this delicious, citrusy dessert!

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WITH Ice Cream Maker:

  • Prep Time: 10 Min + about 40 min in ice cream maker
  • Cook Time: 5 Min
  • Servings: 6 people that is about 500 g (1,1 lb) of Sorbet

WITHOUT Ice Cream Maker:

  • Prep Time: 10 Min + cooling in the freezer for about 4 H
  • Cook time: 5 Min
  • Servings: 6 people that is about 500 g (1,1 lb) of Sorbet

  • 150 g (3/4 cup) of granulated sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) of water
  • the zest of 2 oranges
  • the juice of 5 oranges (about 300 ml or 1 1/4 cup). You can use ordinary Valencia oranges or you can use blood oranges. You will get a more or less intense sorbet, from pale orange to deep red, depending on the color of the fruit.

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Kitchen Tools and Equipment

  • ICE CREAM MAKER WITH COMPRESSOR: I recommend the Whynter Automatic Ice Cream Maker and the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino. The latter type is completely made in Italy but have successfully spread throughout the world. It’s made for home use but has the same features as the professional machines. This type of machine is very similar to the professional one. It’s a little expensive but with this ice cream maker you will have a perfect sorbetto and – above all – in quite a short time.
  • ICE CREAM MAKER WITHOUT COMPRESSOR: Other types of ice cream makers, without a compressor, plan to keep the special container of the machine in the freezer many hours ahead of time to cool the ingredients. You can try Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker which in my opinion is affordable and convenient.
  • THE CONTAINER: Make the orange sorbet WITHOUT ice cream maker: the result will still be good if you follow really well this recipe step by step. In this case you need a stainless steel sorbet container.
  • JUICE EXTRACTOR: A juice extractor machine can be very useful for making excellent sorbets. With this appliance the juice is much more concentrated and tasty.
  • PEELER: A good peeler make it easy making orange sorbet. In fact it’s very important to remove only a thin layer of orange peel, without the white part that would make the sorbet bitter.

Orange Sorbet Recipe: Instructions

Now I’ll show you how to make orange sorbet WITH and WITHOUT ICE CREAM MAKER. So be sure to follow my step-by-step recipe!

IMPORTANT: First of all, if you are NOT going to use the ice cream maker, remember to put a STAINLESS STEEL container in the freezer a few hours ahead (no plastic this time!). When you pour the sorbet mixture, the container must be FROZEN.

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Step 1) – Wash and dry 2 oranges. If possible, buy organic oranges. Using a potato peeler, peel the oranges, being careful not to remove the white, bitter part. Set aside.

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Step 2) – Halve all the oranges and squeeze to collect the juice. For a more concentrated, flavorful, and sediment-free juice, you can use a juice extractor if you have one. You should end up with about 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) of orange juice.

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Step 3) – Place 250 ml (1 cup) of water, 150 g (3/4 cup) of granulated sugar and the orange zest in a saucepan. Cook over a low heat, stirring all the time, for about 5 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

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Step 4) – Filter the orange juice through a sieve if necessary. Add the syrup made of water and sugar without the orange peel. Mix very well.

Now we are going to show you how to make the orange sorbet WITH and WITHOUT ice cream maker, so keep reading!

How to Make Orange Sorbet WITH Ice Cream Maker

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Step 5/A) – At this point, if you have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into the machine and turn it on. Depending on the model, this will take about 40 minutes. After the required time, your creamy orange sorbet is ready!

How to Make Orange Sorbet WITHOUT Ice Cream Maker

Don’t worry if you don’t have an ice cream maker. I’ll show you how to make an amazing sorbet. It takes more time (4 hours instead of about 40 minutes) and more work. But the result is still exceptional! Let’s see how to do it!

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Step 5/B) – Pour the blended mixture into the stainless steel container that has been previously frozen. Freeze for approximately 4 hours. You will need to break up the frozen surface of the sorbet every 30 minutes. Use a hand whisk or low-speed electric whisk to stir the sorbet.

This step is necessary to prevent ice crystals from forming in the sorbet and to keep the sorbet creamy. Obviously, this process is a bit more tedious, but it’s worth it. You will be sure to have an exquisite and authentic Italian orange sorbet!

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You can keep an orange sorbet in the freezer for up to one month.

How to Serve Orange Sorbet

Serving sorbet is quite straightforward and can be a delightful experience, especially if you’re looking to impress your guests or enjoy a refreshing treat yourself. Here are some tips on how to serve orange sorbet:

  • Proper Temperature: Sorbet is best served slightly softened. If it’s too hard, you might want to leave it at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. This makes it easier to scoop and enhances the flavors.
  • Scooping: Use a proper ice cream scoop to form nice, round balls of sorbet. Dipping the scoop in warm water between scoops can help prevent sticking and create smoother scoops.
  • Presentation: Serve the sorbet in chilled bowls or glasses. Clear glass bowls or martini glasses can make for an elegant presentation. You can also use hollowed-out fruit shells, like orange halves, for a more creative and natural presentation. Edible flowers can also add a touch of elegance.
  • Portion Size: Since orange sorbet is quite flavorful and refreshing, a small serving is usually sufficient. This is especially true if it’s being served as a palate cleanser between courses.
  • Serving as a Dessert or Palate Cleanser: Sorbet can be served as a light dessert or as a palate cleanser between courses in a multi-course meal. The way you present it can differ accordingly.

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Orange Sorbet Variations

Creating variations of orange sorbet can be a delightful way to explore different flavors and textures. Here are three delicious variations:

Orange Sorbet with Egg Whites

Adding egg whites to orange sorbet creates a smoother, creamier texture. To make this, prepare your basic orange sorbet mixture like per my recipe. Whip until stiff the white of 1 egg and add to the mixture before pouring into the ice cream maker or freezing. This will give the sorbet a lighter, airier texture.

Orange Sorbet with Alcohol

Alcohol can be a great addition to sorbet, both for flavor and for its effect on the texture. Alcohol lowers the freezing point of the mixture, resulting in a softer, more scoopable sorbet. A complementary alcohol for orange sorbet would be a liqueur like Grand Marnier or Cointreau, which have a sweet orange flavor. Mix this into your basic sorbet recipe before freezing. Remember, a little goes a long way – too much alcohol can prevent the sorbet from setting properly.

Spiced Orange Sorbet

For an exotic twist, consider adding spices to your orange sorbet. Ingredients like cinnamon, cardamom, or a pinch of clove can add a warm and intriguing depth to the flavor. Mix these spices into your basic orange sorbet recipe. The key is to balance the spices so they complement, not overpower, the fresh orange taste.

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