Tangerine Sorbet

January 29, 2010  •  Category:


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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


25 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    Mmmhhh, that sorbet looks ever so tempting!



  2. Geetika says:

    Oh my god! That looks so inviting even in this cold wet winter! 🙂

  3. sophia says:

    oh wow…that is just absolutely STUNNING!!! What care and dedication that goes into that little sweet dessert…And how refreshing it must be!

  4. Sushma Mallya says:

    very beautiful pic…looks too good …

  5. Doria says:

    Ton sorbet est bien parfumé et d’une jolie couleur !
    Je te souhaite un très bon week-end,
    Bisous, Doria

  6. pIERRE says:

    salut joumana
    ça faisait longtemps qe je n’avais pas vu de tangerine !!superbes !!Bizz Pierre

  7. Joanne says:

    I love the presentation of this. It must be a great dessert to serve to guests.

    I also love that it doesn’t need an ice cream maker. Which I am severely lacking.

  8. Rachana Kothari says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! A vrey refreshing and tempting Sorbet.

  9. SE says:

    wow..this is just so cool to sever the sorbet in the the orage…looks lovely !

  10. Ivy says:

    That sorbert sounds amazing and love the presentation your mother would make.

  11. Arlette says:

    What a tasty refreshing sorbet,,, so good any time

  12. Nadjibella says:

    Un sorbet très goûteux. Tes photos sont magnifiques.
    J’ai été voir l’article dont tu parles concernant Gaza.
    Dans le même ordre d’idées, Le Canard enchainé de cette semaine cite l’article d’un journal israélien “Ha’Aretz”, en réaction au drame d’Haïti : “Notre mobilisation pour Haïti met en évidence notre indifférence aux souffrances que connait Gaza. A 1heure de voiture de nos bureaux, 1,5 million de personnes sont assiégées dans une île désertique depuis 2 ans et demi.”
    Concernant Gaza qui partage le peu qu’elle a avec les Haïtiens, il n’y a pas que l’indifférence israélienne qui fait mal…
    A bientôt.

  13. peter says:

    If it weren’t -16C today, I would have a bowl of the sorbet. Citrus fruits are at their height around the Med basin and it’s a joy to see sweet and savory recipes highlighting citrus.

  14. oum mouncifrayan says:

    an excellent recipe and magnificent photos!!!

  15. Dinners & Dreams says:

    This sorbet looks so refreshing. I love the presentation-very cool!


  16. spice says:

    This is something I would really love to try …..& now u have reminded me of something I made long time back & getting this feeling that I’ve to make it again, do have some oranges on the shelf, let’s see…

  17. northshorewoman says:

    Your mother is a skilled magician of the taste buds and heart.

    With your response to Beirut Blues in the back of my mind, this line jumped out of the article on Beirut that you linked to: “But who can blame Beirutis for wanting to forget?”

  18. TastyTrix says:

    Seeing as I am currently obsessed with Clementines and cannot get enough, I absolutely have to try this!!

  19. Simply Life says:

    Oh wow, I’d LOVE to try this flavor!

  20. Simi Mathew says:

    Marhaba…….Keif halak ?
    This looks so refreshing and fresh !! Thanks a ton for your suggesting about the egg for cheesecake….will try ur version next week 🙂

  21. Tammy says:

    Oh my. That looks extremely inviting, tasty–and easy! Lucky little girl you were, that your mother made that for you…here in France, you can buy commercially produced lemon and orange sorbets, in the peel, but of course they don’t look half as beautiful (bet the taste is half as good too.) Hmm, when I think of all those Corsican tangerines available in winter at the markets, with the leaves still attached to show their freshness. I’m going to see whether I can still find some!

  22. Chad says:

    This recipe is amazing. I have tried it several times, making small alterations. It is best when I follow the syrup recipe exactly, it smooths out the floral of the orange blossom water. I do not juice the tangerines in the blender, it makes my finished product a little bitter. I juice them by hand. I made this for our Christmas desert in the hollowed out orange peels. They looked amazing, tasted amazing. Everyone loved it.
    This is a my wife’s favorite. Thank you for sharing.

  23. chad says:

    I am back again to make this for my family get together. I make it every year it is our Christmas tradition. I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoy it. To anyone who has not tried it, it is absolutely delicious and a nice break from the heavy desserts that you typically get during the holidays. Thank you for sharing.

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