Sherbet, Oranges & Quince

A little while ago we made several batches of oven poached quince from Sandra’s (ladyredspecks) invaluable recipe from 2014, Ruby Red Quince. Her method is very similar to the traditional way quince is poached here in Greece, but without the spices (cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc.) that Greek cooks add. I prefer the pure quince taste without those spices, so I’ve adopted the ladyredspecks method and now make it every year when quinces are in season. Naturally, this left us with quite a lot of deep red jewelled quince slices. Much of it was packed up in small containers in the freezer for future use, but some was for use now.

Recently I was looking back at some of my quince recipes and re-discovered a lovely egg white cake studded with poached quince adapted from a Medieval recipe that I blogged about in a whimsical Lear inspired post, Slices of Quince. It was just the seasonal type of cake to go with a scoop of orange sherbet. Perfect timing, too, to use those ruby quinces and more egg whites in the freezer (the latter a perpetual problem) and to take advantage of the new crop of oranges.

Orange Sherbet
I gave vague instructions on how to create this sherbet in an earlier post this year, but here it is in a complete form.

  • 500g freshly squeezed orange juice (best if slightly sour)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 210g milk (semi-skimmed works well, or try lactose free milk)
  • 175g Sugar
  • 55g Dextrose
  • 55g Maltodextrin
  • 5g Xanthan Gum

Measure out your orange juice and add the lemon juice. Mix and set aside while you mix up the gel. Weigh and mix your sugars (sucrose, dextrose and maltodextrin) and the xanthan gum so that everything is well blended. In a separate bowl, measure your milk and heat for about 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave.

When the milk is warm, remove and whisk the sugar mixture in. The xanthan gum will react by forming a gel, so whisk briskly so no gel lumps form. Add the orange juice and whisk again to mix. Cover and cool it in the refrigerator until quite cold – overnight is best. Just before putting it in your ice cream machine for churning, blend it again with a wand blender to make sure that the milky gel and the juices are completely mixed. Pour into your ice cream machine and churn according to the instructions.

Put the iced sherbet in a container to freeze. Keep it in the freezer overnight before using. To scoop, take it out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for about half an hour before serving.

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The orange sherbet was excellent with Medieval Quince Cake, using ruby red quince in place of the preserved poached & brandied quince in the original recipe. Another quince cake – quince küchen – which I made with ruby red quince would also go well with a scoop of orange sherbet. The flavours of quince and orange really compliment each other.



    • I’m always amazed at how those quinces transform from bland to sweet ruby gems. I think it is the anaerobic conditions (i.e. in sugar water under greaseproof paper so that no air can reach them). The sherbet is great as is the sorbets.

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    • Back in the UK, I planted a fan-shaped quince tree for our Urban garden because I love them so much. However, you can find quinces in Turkish supermarkets (or possibly Cypriot or Greek markets). I am so lucky here in Athens that we get large ones in the market every autumn.

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  1. Another generous shout out, thanks. There were no quinces locally this year but I can taste their unique flavour just looking at your gorgeous photo. I’ll try the sherbert recipe after I’ve been to the mkt to get oranges. Summer has hit us hard this week.


    • Thanks Sandra. Your ruby red quinces are now staple items in our winter kitchen (stashed away in the freezer for use through out the season). Hope the sherbet recipe works for you. I use lactose free milk and it works just fine.


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