Author Notes: I'm a big fan of jasmine green tea with orange, and one of my favorite desserts is homemade orange sherbet, so it only seemed natural to combine the two. I started by adapting my orange sherbet recipe found in the archives on this site. The technique of folding freshly whipped cream into the sherbet right before freezing (a cool tip from an old Cooks Illustrated issue) results in an ethereally light and creamy texture -- yet another example of the awesomeness of whipped cream. But the thing that flummoxed me was how to incorporate the jasmine tea. I didn't want to add iced tea to orange juice, thinking that would dilute the bright citrus flavor. I also didn't want to heat heavy cream and steep my tea in it, for fear that it wouldn't properly whip after re-chilling it (plus it just seemed a pain). So I decided to let my refrigerator do the work for me by cold brewing the tea in orange juice overnight. While I was at it, I experimented with various tea to orange juice ratios. I was a little skeptical about cold brewing tea in citrus, but it worked beautifully (and on a side note, I'm now a bit obsessed with cold brewed tea). From there, I decided to add a little honey since it's my sweetener of choice for jasmine tea. I also dialed back on the amount of heavy cream which, much to my delight, actually improved the flavor and texture. The resulting sherbet hit all of the right notes, with the jasmine tea, orange and honey in nice balance. While subtle, the floral notes of the jasmine tea lend an interesting complexity to each bite. As much as I like my old standby orange sherbet, the jasmine tea version is even better. - EmilyC
Makes 1 quart
- 1 T grated zest from 1 to 2 oranges
- Cold-brewed orange-jasmine tea (see below for ingredients and instructions)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 T mild honey
- 1/8 t salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For cold brewed orange-jasmine tea
- 2 1/4 cups orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 T lemon juice, from 1 lemon
- 3 T jasmine green tea leaves, loose leaf or from tea bags (I used Mighty Leaf jasmine green tea)
- For cold brewed jasmine-orange tea: Mix together orange juice, lemon juice and jasmine tea in nonreactive bowl or liquid measuring cup. (Don’t skip the lemon juice; just a small amount makes the finished sherbet extra bright and citrusy.) Cover and refrigerate overnight, about 8 to 10 hours. Using a fine-meshed strainer, strain the green tea leaves from the juice. You may need to repeat the step once or twice to remove all of the tea leaves. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a food processor, process zest, sugar, and salt for about 10 to 15 one-second pulses, or until damp, to release the zest’s essential oils. With machine running, add cold-brewed jasmine-orange tea in a steady stream, then honey. Continue to process until sugar and honey are fully dissolved, about 1 minute. Pass mixture through fine-mesh strainer into medium-sized bowl to remove bits of zest. If not using right away, cover and chill.
- Whip the cream using a whisk or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Whisking slowly and gently, add juice mixture to cream in a steady stream, pouring against the edge of the bowl so the whipped cream maintains its volume.
- Immediately transfer juice/cream mixture to the canister of your ice cream maker and begin churning. Churn until set, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- When done, transfer sherbet from canister to storage container and press plastic wrap against surface. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours.
- For best flavor and texture, let the sherbet sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.