Tangerine-sicle Ice Cream

Source: Jennie Schacht, author of Farmers Market Desserts

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on December 3, 2011.

Makes 1 quart, about 8 servings


1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ cups fresh tangerine juice (about 12 tangerines)
2 tablespoons mandarin or plain vodka (optional)
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tangerines
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
Mint sprigs, for garnish

Season to taste: Use the sweetest, most flavorful mandarins you can find. Satsuma, clementine, or Kishu mandarins or Algerian tangerines are all great choices. Or, substitute fresh orange or blood orange juice.


1.    Stir the cream and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until steam rises from the surface and bubbles begin to form along the edge of the pan. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt in a bowl until well combined. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the hot cream, and then return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 6 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Place the bowl into an ice bath and stir occasionally until almost cool. When it is close to room temperature, stir in the tangerine juice, vodka, and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for several hours until very cold, or place in the freezer for about 1 hour.

2.    Freeze the custard base in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it is no longer becoming any firmer, usually about 30 minutes. Quickly pack the ice cream into a chilled quart container and “thunk” the container on the countertop a couple of times to remove air pockets. Press a piece of plastic film or waxed paper directly on top of the ice cream before covering. Freeze until the desired consistency, about 2 hours or up to 1 week. 

3.    To make the topping, finely grate the zest from 2 of the tangerines and set aside. (A Microplane zester is the ideal tool for this task.) Peel all 4 tangerines, and remove any visible white pith. Using a sharp paring knife and working over a bowl to catch the juices, hold 1 tangerine in your hand and cut between the membranes and the segments to release the segments into the bowl. Squeeze the membrane over the bowl to catch the remaining juices. Repeat with the remaining 3 tangerines. Gently stir in the sugar and reserved zest until the sugar is completely dissolved. Use immediately, or refrigerate in a tightly covered container for up to 1 day.

4.    To serve, scoop the ice cream into small bowls and top with the tangerine sections, drizzling a bit of the juices over the ice cream. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Hints for Making Great Ice Cream
To make the creamiest ice cream in a home ice cream maker, be sure to have everything as cold as possible. If using the type with a removable, insulated bowl, put the bowl in the freezer at least 24 hours in advance. I cool the custard base by submerging the lower three-fourths of the bowl in an ice bath (a larger bowl of ice and water), and then slip the setup into the freezer for about an hour so the base gets very cold. (Don’t forget it and let it freeze solid.) While the base is chilling, I put the ice cream maker’s beater and cover into the freezer, along with a container for packing the finished ice cream and a spatula.

If your machine allows for it, turn it on and pour the mixture into the machine in a slow stream to begin freezing the custard base quickly. Then process the ice cream a little longer than you think is needed for maximum smoothness and volume. The ice cream is done when it wraps around the beater and is no longer flowing in the canister. A little alcohol in the recipe lowers the freezing temperature, helping to keep the ice cream scoopable. If after packing and freezing the ice cream, it becomes too firm to scoop, transfer the container to the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

Farmers Market Ingredients