It's finally felt like winter this week. No snow, but a few days of heavy rain and cold temperatures. It also seems like this week has brought the winter flus on as well. My CSA box has been sending me a steady weekly supply of winter citrus and I have been happily starting each morning with a cara cara orange, ruby red grapefruit or satsuma mandarin. That, combined with my nightly elderberry tea seems to be keeping my immunity up.
When most of my fresh seasonal produce in the winter is comprised of root vegetables and hearty greens, a bright pop of orange or pink citrus is a welcome change. The added vitamin C is also welcome during the height of cold season. Winter citrus is a true blessing. I think because of this I crave citrus fruits in the winter most. I don't eat or cook much with them in the spring or summer or fall, but in the winter I'm constantly trying to find new recipes and uses for them. This one was a particular success and can be made with any citrus you have on hand, or a combination. It can also be made with or without alcohol, depending on your preference and the crowd you plan on serving. I appreciate recipes that can be flexible and adaptable to what's on hand.
One fun note, if you make this recipe with Tequila, rim the glass with salt and add fresh squeezed lime. It becomes a margarita sorbet that makes you feel like you're on a beach in the summer.
Spiked Winter Citrus Sorbet
2 cups coconut sugar
1 1/4 cups water
6 oz tequila (optional, add an additional 3/4 cup water if not using)
2 cups fresh squeezed winter citrus juice (I used satsuma mandarins here)
1 tbs winter citrus zest
To serve (all optional):
Fresh squeezed lime juice
Combine the sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat. Stir in the tequila (if using), juice, and zest. Allow mixture to cool completely. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to finish.
*A note on finger limes. If you've never heard of finger limes, they're an unusual citrus, about the size and shape of a large green olive. They're sweeter than standard limes and can be eaten by themselves. The unusual aspect of citrus limes is obvious once you cut one open. The inside is composed of dozens of tiny citrus balls that look almost like caviar. They make for a unique presentation, but also are just delicious. If you can find this strange fruit, I highly recommend trying it!