Spache the Spatula

Orange Sherbet

A couple of weeks ago, a reader asked me if I had any good sherbet recipes that stayed creamy even after freezing, instead of turning into a big, icy block. This is a common problem with sherbets as their fat content is so low (1%).

This orange sherbet recipe is my personal favorite, and even Mikey, a self-proclaimed orange sherbet connoisseur thinks it’s the bees’ knees!

Of course true sherbet will never be as creamy as an ice cream—especially one with a custard base—simply due to the lack of cream, eggs, etc., but I think that this recipe is far creamier than others I have tried (especially as it starts to melt in the summer sun!).

I particularly love this recipe because it actually tastes like real oranges as opposed to that pretend, artificial orange flavoring that a lot of standard orange sherbets have. You see, I normally hate orange sherbet! Actually, I normally hate all orange-flavored things because they are so fake-tasting. But, this, this is so zingy and delicious!

But, while you get the fresh, citrusy, bright notes of true orange flavor, it is ever-so-perfectly matched with a creamy, vanilla base that together boast the best darn creamsicle flavor you have ever tried!

I should note that in my recipe I used raw milk. Of course you are welcome to use homogenized, pasteurized milk, but I find raw milk more enjoyable and creamy, personally.

(In regards to the reader’s question about replicating Trader Joe’s Pomegranate Blueberry Sherbet, I haven’t tried this yet, but I would omit the orange zest, and replace the orange juice with Pom Wonderful’s Blueberry-Pomegranate juice and see how that works out!)

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Orange Sherbet


  • 7 ounces granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 large orange
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups very cold whole, raw milk


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the milk and process until the sugar is fully dissolved (about a minute or two).
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the milk.
  3. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your manufacturer's directions. (Mine took about 35-40 minutes, much longer than other ice creams I have made which are usually done in about 15-20 minutes.)
  5. Transfer the sherbet to a container and freeze for at least 3 hours.

recipe slightly adapted from here


11 Responses to “Orange Sherbet”

  1. Kate — July 25, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Awesome! I love orange sherbet – or any sherbet, really. I must confess that the 'neapolitan' store-bought sherbet (raspberry, lime and orange) is a distinct summer favorite, and to think I haven't even bought any this season. I'll have to keep this recipe on hand for popsicles!

    To the issue of over-hardening, have you considered adding a very small amount of vodka or Triple Sec to the base?

    • Rachael replied: — July 25th, 2011 @ 2:43 am

      Triple sec would be a brilliant idea! However, I was under the impression that the vanilla extract would work in the same fashion due to the fact that it has a 35% alcohol content (unless of course you use a vanilla flavoring with no alcohol).

  2. Sasha @ The Procrast — July 26, 2011 at 12:16 am

    This looks FABULOUS! I love sorbet and its just the most perfect looking summer treat 🙂 never had an orange version but can only imaginnnee how deliciously refreshing it is. I need a goddarn ice cream machine!!!

    • jessica replied: — May 31st, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

      Saw the Cuisineart Ice Cream Maker at Costco yesterday for $25 or so. A steal!

      • Rachael replied: — May 31st, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

        Wow! That is a steal!

  3. marla — August 15, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Beautiful sherbet…linking to it today 🙂

  4. Pingback: Honeydew Sherbet Ice Milk Recipe: Healthy Diet Fruit Frozen Dessert — Family Fresh Cooking

  5. Jay — May 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    This seems like Alton Brown's recipe:

    • Rachael replied: — May 21st, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

      You do realize that I linked to that EXACT page, right? So, yes, that is the recipe it is adapted from and that is exactly what I stated at the very beginning of the recipe.

  6. Peter — July 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    won't the acid from the citrus curdle the milk?

    • Rachael replied: — July 25th, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

      Nope! Due to the milk being so cold, the citrus doesn't have enough time to curdle the milk :]

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