My parents used to entertain frequently at home while I was growing up in Beirut; my mother would often serve this dessert when tangerines were in season; she would carve the flesh out of the fruit, make a sorbet and fill the fruit with it.
Yesterday, I stopped by the Vietnamese market on my way to the hairstylist and saw these honey tangerines that actually still had their leaves on them! So I knew I just had to make my mom’s dessert from those long gone days when Beirut was called the Paris of the Middle-East and spies from all persuasions could be seen sipping drinks at the St-Georges Hotel
- 8 honey tangerines or any other type of tamgerines or clementines
- sugar syrup made up of 1 1/2 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier liqueur (optional)
- Start by making the syrup ahead of time (up to 2 weeks): Place the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Add the fresh lemon juice and boil one minute longer. Add the flavoring, stir and let it cool.
- Cut the top off the tangerines; carefully remove the flesh inside and place it in a bowl. Try not to tear the skin. Keep in the freezer (if using in the hour) or in the fridge while making the sorbet.
- Place the tangerine flesh in a blender and puree it until smooth. Strain it. You will need 1 1/2 cups of juice. Keep the tangerine flesh to eat later with yogurt if you wish.
- Mix the juice and syrup. You need 2/3 cup of syrup and 1 1/2 cup of juice. Add the liqueur if using. Taste and if it is too sweet, it is fine because the sweetness will subside after freezing.
- Cover the bowl and place in the freezer for a couple of hours. If you have an ice-cream maker, you may use it; if not, just wait until the sorbet has frozen solid and crush it in a food processor for a few seconds. Scoop the sorbet into each tangerine and cover with the cap. Keep in the freezer until needed. Cover loosely with plastic while in the freezer. The tangerine sorbet will freeze in the ice-cream maker after about 25 minutes.