Blood Orange, Key Lime and Kumquat Sorbet

Inspired by all the citrus available and the color palettes for spring, I started a crazy sorbet making spree last week. I made sorbet of all fruit I encountered at the store and we have been enjoying the refreshing treats every afternoon. All this abundant fruit makes me very happy.

I know many of you are in the dead of winter, surrounded by snow and frigid temperatures, but I can have ice cream and sorbet all year round regardless of the temperature outside. In fact, we have been experiencing some chilly temperatures as well, but not even that is enough to keep me away from the freezer.

The combination of theses three sorbets is almost like a symphony of color and taste. I know, I know, it sounds cheesy when I say it that way, but it’s true. There are different levels of sour in these sorbets and they compliment each other very well.

Squeezing the tiny key limes one after another took its time, but it was so worth it. The flavor is so pungent, sour and vibrant. The sorbet is by far the most sour of them all, but it balances out perfectly the sweetness of the kumquat sorbet, which is the “mildest” of the bunch.

Blood oranges must have the most special color of all the fruit and once turned into sorbet, it turns into this bubblegum pink that not even C could resist. This was my favorite sorbet of the three, not too sweet not too sour. So here is to sorbet in the middle of winter!

Kumquat Sorbet

400 grams kumquat puree
600 grams simple syrup (50% water and 50% sugar)

Whisk together the kumquat puree and simple syrup and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Churn in ice cream machine.

Kumquat Puree

800 grams kumquats
Water to cover, 3 batches

Place kumquats in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil. Drain the kumquats and repeat the process two more times with fresh water every time. This removes some of the bitterness from the fruit.

Place the cooked kumquats in the food processor or a blender and puree. Strain the puree through a fine sieve. You should get about 400 grams of kumquat puree.

Key Lime Sorbet

480 grams simple syrup (50% water and 50% sugar)
420 grams key lime juice

Combine both components and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Churn in ice cream machine and freeze.

Blood Orange Sorbet

This sorbet uses ingredients that might be difficult to get for some of you, but the resulting sorbet has great texture and mouth feel. If you prefer, you could follow the same recipe as for the key lime sorbet but using the blood orange juice instead.

250 grams blood orange juice
110 grams sugar
2 grams sorbet stabilizer
60 grams atomized glucose
200 grams water

Place water in a saucepan and heat slightly. Add the atomized glucose, whisk and bring to a boil. Mix the sugar and the sorbet stabilizer in a bowl and add to the boiling syrup. Whisk and return syrup to a boil. Remove from heat.

Refrigerate the syrup for at least 4 hours. Add the blood orange juice to the syrup and churn in ice cream machine. Freeze.

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60 Responses to “Blood Orange, Key Lime and Kumquat Sorbet”

  1. madelaine says:

    Hi Aran,

    Lovely! Here in Australia it’s the middle of summer, so how I would love to indulge in some of your beautiful sorbets.

    I have a question though, why do you not use the sorbet stabilizer and atomized glucose in the other recipes? Is there something special about pink grapefruit that require the extra something?

  2. Wow, what delightful flavors! Your sorbet look delicious! A refined dessert… Beautiful photography!



  3. Christy says:

    look at all the bright pretty colours!! They make me so happy just looking at them!! As I said to Helen, if only we could have 2 servings of citrus desserts per day, we wouldn’t need vitamin c supplements!!

    Love all the colours in these photos, and especially how the table mat matches the colours of the sorbets flawlessly!!

  4. morgana says:

    ¡¡ Qué maravilla !! Son preciosos, al menos para la vista. Seguro que también para el gusto pero ahora mismo soy incapaz de pensar en helados, con casi tres semanas que llevo con dolor de garganta y sin sacudirme los catarros. PEro quedan apuntadas para cuando llegue el buen tiempo, que el año pasado desempolvé la heladera y hay que darle vidilla…

    Un abrazo (fresquito) y gracias por unas recetas tan frescas y apetecibles. Después de tanta comilona navideña es un placer ver cositas así.

  5. FeeMail says:

    great.. great… great… ;-)!

  6. ooooooooooo sorbet divine!! I’ve been having such a lemon craving since yesterday and made curd last night but maybe sorbet is the way to go!

  7. Mobula says:

    Que ricos los sorbetes y que bonitos colores que muestran, pro me hago la misma pregunta que madelaine… por que no usas la glucosa y el estabilizador de sorbete en las anteriores recetas de kumquats y lima??

    Si se sobra un poquito mándamelo en una botella, via mar…


  8. jill says:

    Wow… so delightful!
    Your pictures are just wonderful, but above all, the recipe sounds so good to me!

  9. andaoana says:

    Wow! I thought I am the only one having ice cream or any frozen dessert at -15 degrees Celsius. Oh wait, my princess also has that on a daily basis.
    They look so lovely that I can’t wait to give them a try asap.

  10. I’ve not delved into the world of sorbets since I’ve had my ice cream maker, but you’ve inspired me once again!

  11. Aran says:

    Madelaine- as indicated in the recipe, you can make the blood orange sorbet without any of the added ingredients by following the key lime sorbet recipe. They are just different methods and the results are slightly different. When you add the stabilzer and atomized glucose, the sorbet doesn’t crystalize as much and the mouth feel is smoother. But you can do either recipe. Just something different to add instead of having all the same methods.

    Ana- no se si entiendes lo que le he contestado a Madelaine. La receta del sorbete de blood orange se puede hacer siguiendo las cantidades del de key lime. El resultado es un poco diferente ya que con el estabilizante se consigue un sorbete mas suave y sin tanta cristalizacion del agua. Sale mejor yo creo pero entiendo que no todo el mundo tiene esos ingredientes.

    thanks everyone!

  12. VeggieGirl says:

    BEYOND refreshing sorbet varieties.

    **Just as a heads up: I will not be able to comment on blogs as often now, during this semester, due to work overload (I’m stressed already) – PLEASE know that I’m still loyally reading, but just won’t have time to comment. I hope you understand!!

  13. Y says:

    Blood orange sorbet is one of my favourites! :) Kumquat sorbet.. now that sounds pretty intriguing!

  14. lynda says:


    These are so beautiful to look at. I have a little cold right now and a smooth , fruity cold something would feel so nice on my throat. I actually saw blood oranges at the supermarket yesterday so I just might have to try this one! Thanks again for sharing!

  15. Mobula says:

    Aran, entendido perfectamente en las dos versiones. gracias guapísima…


  16. lisa says:

    Those sound lovely! And the colors are gorgeous.

  17. Andrea says:

    In college there was an ice cream shop that gave you points depending on how cold it was outside when you stopped in for a cone. You could then redeem them for more ice cream. Here in NY, we’re having record lows! Even so, your sorbets are so beautiful I’d still consider eating them!

  18. Annette says:

    Hi Aran, your pictures are as gorgeous and inspiring as always. It makes me feel sorry that we don’t get blood oranges in the tropics because I adore them, especially in sorbets. I’m reading a book on frozen desserts, which has introduced me to glucose powder and trimoline and I’m going to try out some new sorbets with them soon. I hope they turn out as pretty as yours :)

  19. anna says:

    That looks delicious! I have some blood oranges I need to play with, but alas, no ice cream maker!

  20. Liska says:

    How I wish I could make a sorbet from fresh fruit! It’s hard snowing in Poland today and I look sadly on apples that are in my kitchen… Please send me some sun! (and sorbet would be appreciated too ;-)

  21. Alejandra says:

    These look so beautiful together! I actually love to eat ice cream and sorbet year round. Last year I got an ice cream maker for christmas and spent all of icy January and February making ice cream. I love the combination of colors and flavors that you used! Blood oranges and limes are some of my favorite flavors and suspect that I’ll be making use of that ice cream maker once again very, very soon!

  22. Rita says:

    Aran, I love the photos. The sorbets look so good, I just can’t imagine anything cold right now… Not much Florida wheather here…

  23. leaca says:

    We eat it in the winter too. This looks divine.

  24. cindy* says:

    the colors are beautiful aran and make me want the spring and summer to come. you are a lucky girl with your gorgeous weather and abundance of citrus!

  25. idu says:

    Aiiiiii, bai ederrak!
    Hemen oraindik elurra dugu mendian, baina etxeko laranjondo eta limoiondoak, uzta oparoa dute aurten ( beldurrez naiz, baina orainarteko elurte etaizozteak gainditu dituzte)
    Orain badakit zertan erabili.

  26. MMMM blood orange sorbet. That’s my next try.
    I smiled when I saw your post today. I just finished posting a recipe for a blood orange pie, which was basically a key lime pie but blood orange juice substituted instead.

  27. How sunny, cheerful and cool those all look! I love sorbet, and I make them often. To me it’s a good reason to puree and freeze fruit that were picked at their best in the summer – so I can make yummy colorful sorbet full of flavors in winter: wineberry, boysenberries, raspberries, peach, blackberries! yes, yes, yes! I love citrus sorbet too, when citruses are at their best, now – including pink grapefruit sorbet & meyer lemon sorbet: those yield more pastel colors than your vivid creations, though, Aran. I do have some calamondin oranges, and although they are a lot more sour than kumquat, I think I will try your recipe Aran. I know they make a great marmalade, so they may yield an interesting sorbet!

    And a final note: instead of sorbet stabilizer, I use a tablespoon or two of a complimentary liqueur or plain vodka with great success. Since everybody in the house does drink alcohol that is not an issue (although it IS a minuscule amount).

    Thank you for the bright ideas!


  28. gorgeous blog! i just discovered you on flickr and was so impressed with your work. delicious. :)

  29. Love the trifecta of citrus! They look delicious.

  30. Seanna Lea says:

    So yummy! I don’t think I can get kumquats easily in my area, but I have blood orange juice in the fridge. It will make a nice change from the brownies I’m going to make tonight.

  31. Tartelette says:

    Makes me want to sing “beewop..dadadawop…beewop…” or to wear some juicy lipgloss…dunno yet. Makes me want to eat it first that’s for sure!!

  32. Zerogluten says:

    Que combinación tan fantástica de sabores, texturas y colores. Voy a tener que ir al Makro a por toneladas de kumquats, jaja.
    Que gusto hija, tocas todos los palos, tartas, galletas, helados, sorbetes…
    Te mando millones y millones de besos sin gluten

  33. Lauren says:

    These look so gorgeous! Little bowls of sunshine in winter. Great recipes and inspiration. Can’t wait to try them all. Also, thanks for the resource on the stabilizer, I’d like to try that for smoother texture. Your blog is beautiful!

  34. God, these are beautiful! I sure would love to try your key lime one(well, all of them really)….You are just amazing my dear!

  35. Helene says:

    Beautiful colors and choice of savors.

  36. Such a pleasure just watching these pictures!!

  37. Joyce says:

    Oh my friend it doesn’t matter how cold it is outside I love sorbet & ice cream! AND I love key lime- I am a tarty kind of gal. I haven’t even read the recipe yet, but I know I will love it!

    Have a golden one!

  38. What fresh and delicious looking sorbets…I love the flavors you picked!

  39. Ash says:

    wow! I love the colours in this post! The green and pink are stunning! I think I need to pull out my ice cream maker and make some sorbet!

  40. I need to find blood oranges–the best I can do is red navels! The sorbets sound like a great match and I love the colorful arrangement of them in the photos.

  41. Barbara says:

    I love the colours in these photos. I’ve made blood orange sorbet and agree it is delicious and the prettiest of pinks.

  42. chefectomy says:

    Such a sucker for key lime. Beautiful Aran.


  43. perfect scoops…i used to work at an Argentinian fancy-pants gelato shop, i scooped 40 hours a week (is that possible?) so i am a scoop snob–we had a grapefruit sorbet that was incredibly popular, not sweet at all. the best though–pear. pear sorbet. good god. pear sorbet next to cinnamon ice cream…i wish i had an ice cream maker.

    the overhead shot of the three is brilliant–eh right now at cafe fernando (you know him yeah??) he has a pomegranate shot similar to yours, but opposite color spectrum, bold not pastel. anyways–beautiful, comme d’habitude!

  44. Bea says:

    gorgeous sorbet! gorgeous pictures!

  45. Aran.. the color pallett is amazing!!

  46. lynda says:


    I just made the blood orange sorbet today. OMG! It is 1) vibrantly flavorful, 2)gorgeous to look at and 3) so, so refreshing!I didn’t have stabilizers and glucose, and found it simply wonderful as is. I think I remember knowing at some point that a little egg white can also achieve the same stabilizing effects?? Anyone?? I know you can get pastuerized egg white in the market now if that’s a concern. I loved this sorbet so much and to my delight I still have more blood oranges left, too. I think I am going to try blood orange curd next and blood orange mimosas for a girlfriend brunch coming up soon.Yummy, yum, yum!!

  47. Aran says:

    Lynda- I am not sure about the egg white. I will have to look into it. I’m glad you tried it. Mimosas sound great!

    Thank you everyone!

  48. Camille says:

    Even as the temps plummet to zero degrees these sorbets look delicious and tempting! I really like the photo of all three sorbets, taken from overhead. Blood oranges are great and I was lucky enough to get some last week.

  49. Absolutely gorgeous and mouth-watering. It’s been in the 70’s in San Francisco, so I’m ready to try all three!

  50. diva says:

    stunning flavours and the colours just lovely!! it’s too cold for sorbet here but i’d definitely have this over my favourite bread and butter pudding any day!

  51. Jinnie N. says:

    Your photos are g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s.

  52. Kakawa says:

    What a beautiful and interesting blog! I’ve just discovered it and I’ll certainly follow you and your recipes in the future!!
    Please excuse me if my english is not perfect , but I’m reading you from Italy!

  53. Botacook says:

    What a lovely and mouthwatering trio of citrus sorbets! Those light colors make me think of spring… wonderful!

  54. Aimée says:

    I’m wrapped around a mug of tea, trying to get warm and then up pops your sunny sorbets and reminds me that spring is coming…eventually!
    My mouth is watering just imagining the flavors–very nice!

  55. Aran says:

    thanks so much everybody. i hope this post brought some sunshine and dreams of spring into your day. i really appreciate all the comments. thank you!

  56. amy says:

    oh my! i am just catching up with the blogosphere, and this post is making my mouth water! despite the FREEZING cold here in ny, i can’t wait to make a batch of each one of these!

  57. nikole says:

    these photos are great.

  58. […] credits: escort cards via Martha Stewart Weddings // citrus sorbets from Cannelle Vanille // cake from Grey Likes Weddings, photographed by  Jen Huang, created by Nine Cakes // […]

  59. […] via Martha Stewart Weddings | Blood Orange, Key Lime and Kumquat Sorbet by Cannelle et Vanille | Invitation via Val Marie {Ryan Ray Photo} | ‘Citrus’ Cake by Nadia & Co. via […]

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