I remember the first time I tasted a dessert made fresh from a blender. It was at a store, and there was a salesman doing a demonstration of what you could make with the blender. I was skeptical at first, I mean, can you really make frozen desserts with a blender?
After the blender sales representative handed me a small paper cup filled with his frozen creation (and a it was a healthy one that included spinach leaves!) my eyes grew wide. This was a whole new category of food that I never knew you could create with a blender.
I was right to be skeptical because I’d never used a blender that could chop ice before. And that is the secret to making frozen desserts with a blender: you just use a lot of ice.
After tasting the dessert, I looked at my wife for her reaction. She nodded enthusiastically and said, “you need to learn how to make this.” So after years of contemplating buying the big ticket item, that was the day that I finally pulled the trigger and bought a high end blender.
Unfortunately, I still need to recreate that exact recipe, but in the meantime I experimented with creating a different kind of dessert. And that is how I came up with this recipe for orange ice cream.
|Whipping Cream||2 Tablespoons|
Put all the ingredients into the blender. Start off blending at a low speed, and slowly increase the speed. Place in the freezer for ten to fifteen minutes to further solidify.
Thoughts and Commentary
As I mentioned in the intro, the real secret to making frozen desserts with your blender is to use a lot of ice. The blender will chop up all the ice cubes into really tiny pieces that mix with the rest of the ingredients, but the mixture will be so cold that it will turn slushy or even more solid. And if the mixture is a little too watery, you can easily pour it into a container and then place that container in the freezer for a short amount of time to further solidify the result.
Make sure you are using seedless oranges. You do not want to blend in orange seeds because they are not healthy to eat and they will affect the overall flavor.
The mandarin oranges I used in this recipe were quite small, so if you use larger oranges you might end up needing less of them. The mandarins are quite juicy, so the number of mandarins you use will affect how much ice you need to add.
Adding More Ice
One way to end up with a more solid mixture at the end is to use more ice. However, be careful when doing this because it is possible to end up with ice cream that tastes too watered down.
Freezing the Mixture
It is totally fine to enjoy your dessert right away after blending it, but some people may find that the mixture is just a little too liquidy. This could also be the case if you don’t serve the ice cream right away, and instead wait a couple of minutes to eat it.
You can use your freezer to create a more solid dessert. Just pour the orange mixture into the freezer safe bowls you plan on serving it from, and then place these bowls in your freezer. The exact time you want to leave them in the freezer is up to you, but I recommend at least ten to fifteen minutes.
You could try using orange juice instead of fresh peeled mandarins. This will obviously eliminate the work of peeling the mandarins. And you might have orange juice in your fridge but no mandarin oranges laying around.
I tried this variation once, and was decently satisfied with the outcome. The orange juice I used wasn’t as sweet, so the resulting ice cream wasn’t as sweet. I could have balanced this out with adding more sugar or another sweetener to the mix. Overall, the orange flavor felt a little more subtle.
I also thought the mixture was a little more liquidy when I finished blending it. This might be because the juice I used was pulp free. When you are blending the full mandarins you are using all the pulp.
Finally, the color of the ice cream wasn’t as satisfying. The ice cream ended up looking yellow instead of a cool bright orange. This is a very superficial difference.
Skipping or Replacing the Whipping Cream
You could also skip the whipping cream for a lighter dessert, or substitute milk instead. I personally have not tried this yet. Whipping cream might not be an ingredient that you regularly keep stocked in your house, but I recommend always keeping some on hand to use with your blender.
So there you have it. If you’ve never made a frozen dessert with your blender, now is the perfect time to try.
I do have to warn you though, if you make this for other people they might start requesting that you make it multiple times a week (like my wife does).
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your homemade orange ice cream!