Falling Mandarins

The mandarins in the garden have begun to fall from the trees and the birds have been actively eviscerating them. Not a pretty picture! However, the devastation was a reminder that it was my last chance to harvest what was left on the trees.


It is common knowledge here that after a good crop one year, the citrus the following year would be less plentiful and the fruits would be smaller. It seems to be true since this year the mandarins are quite small and definitely fewer in number.


It is uncertain exactly what variety of mandarin we have. All I know is that they are not as sweet as the clementines I buy in the market. They also have a huge number of pips which means that they are not exactly first choice for peeling and eating.


Juicing them is an ideal way of preserving their wonderful flavour. Last year I experimented with a mandarin curd and producing an Ice Cream from it. This year, I though it might be worth exploring the world of sorbet. 


Mandarin Sorbetto
This recipe modifies one of Nick Palumbo’s in his fantastic book, Gelato Messina, and uses skills I learned last September in Lucca, Italy (see my post, Gelato Lessons). It is surprising easy.

  • 410g Water
  • 175g castor sugar (Sucrose)
  • 55g Dextrose
  • 55g Maltodextrin
  • 5g Xantham Gum
  • 300g Mandarin juice
  • Juice from 1 small lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)

First warm your water to bath temperature on the stove or in the microwave, making sure it is not too hot. While the water is warming, combine the sugar, dextrose, maltodextrin and stabiliser in a separate bowl. Whisk the sugar mixture with the warm water – making sure you continually whisk as you slowly add the sugars to make sure that no clumps form. The xantham gum will immediately react to the warm water and begin to gel. Cool this mixture.

Juice your mandarins and the lemon, whisk this to the cooled sugar gell. Cover and put the mixture into the refrigerator to cool further. It should take a few hours. Then, process in your ice cream machine. Mine takes about 40 minutes churning., but follow instructions for your own churner. Put the sorbetto into a container and freeze, preferably overnight.

Take the container out of the freezer about 30 minutes before you wish to serve and place it into the refrigerator. This should bring it up to scooping temperature. Scoop and enjoy!


    • It is very easy to do, but take care when whisking in the sugar & gum mixture so it does not clump. Am waiting for all the lovely spring fruits to arrive to try sorbet making with them. Sandra (AKA ladyredspecks) has a fantastic sounding strawberry sorbet on her blog. I have it bookmarked!

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