Blood Orange Sorbet with Vanilla, Almond and Lavender Infusion

When flu season comes around, it’s important to soothe your aching throat with something healthy and delicious.  Yes, of course you’ll have plenty of tea and honey, but why not try a cold treat to numb away your woes? 

Makes: 1 prescription quart
Total kitchen time: 20 minutes plus freezing time

Shopping List:

  • 6 blood oranges (you can cheat and buy blood orange juice – about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup Muscat (dessert wine; you can drink the rest)
  • 1/2 cup blue agave nectar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla almond tea (loose tea in an infuser, or about 4 tea bags)
  • 1 tsp. lavender (in an infuser, or find lavender tea, about 2 bags)
  • 2 cups water
  1. Juice the blood oranges through a fine mesh screen to remove any pulp or seeds.  I used my potato ricer to get the oranges squozen.  
  2. Combine the blood orange juice, Muscat, agave nectar, vanilla bean (including the pod) and ginger in a medium pot.  Bring the liquid just to a boil, then remove from heat.
  3. Add the tea and lavender in an infuser or in loose tea bags.  Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes.  Remove and discard the tea.
  4. Add the water and refrigerate the mixture overnight or until cold.  Then, freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still-freeze this recipe in a large, shallow baking dish.  Pour in the mixture and put it in the coldest part of your freezer.  Every 20 minutes or so, scrape the sorbet with the tines of a fork to break up the ice crystals.  You’ll end up with more of a granita than a sorbet, but it will still be delicious.

Velvet Hazelnut Gelato

hazelnut gelato

This dessert is so good that you’ll make an “ooo” face when you eat it.  The silkiness of this gelato comes not from some mysterious culinary secret, but from the inclusion of lots and lots of fat.  There’s no two ways around it, folks: great ice cream is heavy (iced) cream.  I’m confident that your guests can look past your nutritional indiscretions for a rare treat like this.

Makes: 8 bowls of hazelnut heaven
Total kitchen time: 20 minutes plus freezing

Shopping list:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (get the best stuff you can find)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 13 Oz. nutella hazelnut spread
  • 1 personal trainer
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the cream, half and half, and sugar.  Over medium heat, bring the mixture to 170°F.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the nutella – yes, all of it.  Wisk together until well combined.
  3. Refrigerate the mixture until it has chilled thoroughly, at least 6 hours.  Then, freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

That’s it.  No special magic, just a lot of tasty ingredients and a carefree attitude towards gravity.  Garnish with a dessert wafer, or serve with fresh raspberries.