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Tangerine Cream Recipe

Tangerine Cream Recipe


Makes about 2 cups

Prep Time: 5 min

Total Time: 5 min

October 2010

Ingredients

Recipe Preparation

Recipe by Ford Filling Station Los Angeles California

Nutritional Content

Makes about 2 cups, 1 serving (1/4 cup) contains: Calories (kcal) 58.6 %Calories from Fat 71.2 Fat (g) 4.6 Saturated Fat (g) 2.9 Cholesterol (mg) 16.6 Carbohydrates (g) 4.2 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.0 Total Sugars (g) 3.6 Net Carbs (g) 4.2 Protein (g) 0.3 Sodium (mg) 6.3

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Tangerine Bavarian

Of all the citrus fruits (conveniently in season right now), tangerine has perhaps the most complex qualities. Floral and gently sweet, with an underlying tartness—like three fruits in one. And this lighter-than-air bavarian is wonderfully cool on the tongue, slowly releasing its various aromas as it melts in the mouth.

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How to Make It

Grate 2 tablespoons peel from tangerines. With a sharp knife, cut off remaining peel and white membrane from tangerines discard peel and membrane. Working over a strainer set in a bowl, cut between inner membranes and fruit to release segments into strainer. You should have 2 cups segments cover and chill. Discard membranes save juice to use in step

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine sugar, gelatin, grated tangerine peel, and 1 cup tangerine juice. Stir the mixture over medium-high heat until simmering. Remove from heat.

Beat remaining 2 cups tangerine juice with egg yolks to blend stir into pan, then stir mixture over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in sour cream. Nest pan in ice water and stir often just until mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Lift pan from ice water, cover, and chill until mixture is firm, at least 1 1/2 hours or up to 1 day.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons tangerine segments into each glass (at least 12-oz. size). Stir cream mixture, then spoon about 1/3 cup over segments in each glass. Repeat to layer remaining tangerine segments and cream mixture equally in glasses.


Tangerine ice cream

Not so long ago, we called them tangerines, they came from Florida and when we thought of them at all -- which wasn’t very often -- it was mainly because they were so easy to peel. Certainly it wasn’t for their flavor, which was pretty uniformly undistinguished.

Not anymore. Walk through a Southern California farmers market this winter and it almost seems there are more locally grown tangerines -- properly called mandarins -- than there are navel oranges.

Sold under their variety names, Satsumas, Clementines, Pixies and at least half a dozen others, they come in a kaleidoscope of shapes, sizes and colors. And the flavor is mouth-filling, explosively sweet and tart at the same time, with individual varieties ringing notes that range from flowery to almost winy.

This is just the beginning. California is in the midst of a gold rush, as a crop that only a few years ago represented less than 5% of the state’s citrus harvest becomes one of the big four -- trailing only navel and Valencia oranges and lemons.

Although they’re a relatively new addition to the California scene, mandarins (Citrus reticulata) are hardly newcomers to the world of citrus. In fact, they are among the three original families, along with pummelos and citrons. Every other kind of citrus fruit -- oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and all the rest -- are hybrids resulting from cross-breeding among these three groups.

The popular name tangerine is a commercial invention that was attached in the mid-19th century because the first mandarins imported into the U.S. were shipped from the Moroccan seaport of Tangiers. So unfamiliar were these fruits that they were sometimes sold under the name “mandarin orange,” a usage that today continues mainly in the canned version.

To make it even more confusing, some of the fruits we consider mandarins are actually hybrids -- crosses between mandarins and other citrus, sometimes quite complex. There is, in fact, a mandarin-orange cross called the tangor.

Generally speaking, mandarins are easy to peel, and easy to separate into segments. Beyond these characteristics, the family is highly varied. Botanists divide mandarins into as many as 35 types, according to things such as point of origin, leaf shape and color.

For cooks, it’s simpler just to split the family according to when the varieties ripen. Early mandarins, primarily Satsumas, come into the market around Thanksgiving and last through mid-February. Middle-season mandarins -- Clementines and others -- begin with the new year and last through early March. Late mandarins -- Gold Nugget, Pixies and others -- are harvested from mid-February into the summer months.

The state’s tangerine acreage has more than doubled in the last five years as more and more trees mature in the next couple of winters, brace yourself for a flood of fruit.

According to the most recent California Citrus Acreage Report, of the roughly 18,000 acres of mandarins in the state, more than half have been planted since 1999, most of them in the San Joaquin Valley. Two large growers, Sun Pacific and Paramount Citrus, have each planted roughly 3,000 acres of Clementines in the Central Valley.

This success has left Southern California’s tangerine pioneers, a loose association of small growers in Ojai, seeming somewhat proud, slightly dazed and more than a little worried. They’re happy this fruit they’ve loved so well is finally getting the attention it is due, but they worry whether large-scale production can still result in good quality fruit.

And more to the point for them, how can a tiny band of small producers in Ojai compete with corporate giants?

“They’re big and they can be much more efficient than we can be,” says Tony Thacher of Friend’s Ranches, which has been farming citrus in the Ojai Valley since the 1880s. “They’re also going to be earlier to market, no matter what. So we just have to try to do something special.”

That something special is stealing a trick from the wine industry and promoting an appellation-grown fruit, the Ojai Pixie Tangerine, which will be hitting the markets in about a month. Pixies are small and seedless and when grown in the right places, incredibly sweet.

Originally a dooryard fruit eaten mainly at home, Pixies were first sold only through farmers markets and at a few restaurants such as Chez Panisse in Berkeley. But these little mandarins are so irresistible that they are now sold across the country. Where there were once only a scattering of trees, there are more than 26,000 in the Ojai Valley.

Why are mandarins so hot all of a sudden? Credit the Clementine. In the 1990s, growers from Spain, the largest exporters of fresh citrus in the world, started flooding the American market with them. From 1996 to 2000, Spain’s shipments of Clementines to the United States increased five-fold, to more than 200 million pounds per year.

That got the attention of California’s citrus growers, many of whom were getting squeezed economically in the souring orange market.

“I think there were two things growers were looking at,” says Thacher. “First, that’s a lot of tangerines. If we can take some of that, we should be able to grow them cheaper and have an advantage.

“The other thing is that in Europe, mandarin consumption is much higher than it is here. In the U.S., it’s always been 2% to 3% of the market. In Europe, it’s about one-third, about the same as oranges and lemons. So that says there might be room to grow in this country.”

Thacher grows a dozen varieties of mandarins at Friend’s Ranches, the three orchards in Ojai named for his wife’s family. His father-in-law, Elmer Friend, was one of the first farmers in the area to grow mandarins, planting Dancys in the 1960s, mainly to sell to Chinese markets in San Francisco.

Friend planted more mandarins in the 1980s, as the California Valencia orange harvest moved from Southern California to cheaper ground in the Central Valley.

Today, Friend’s Ranches farms about 75 acres of mandarins, divided among a dozen varieties, including familiar favorites such as Dancy, Satsuma and Clementine, lesser-known gems such as Lee and Page, and cutting-edge releases such as Tahoe Gold, Shasta Gold and Yosemite Gold newly released by breeders at UC Riverside.

Naturally sweet wherever they’re grown in the Ojai Valley, farmers say, the Pixie takes on another dimension because of the combination of warm, but not hot, days and chilly nights. Just as important, from a commercial point of view, Pixies ripen late in the season, when the Central Valley growers are winding up.

Harvest doesn’t usually begin until March and the fruit can hang on the trees for months without ill effects. Thacher says he has harvested Pixies as late as October.

The driving forces behind the organization to promote the Ojai Pixie are Thacher and his friend Jim Churchill of Churchill-Brenneis Orchard. Churchill got into the mandarin business in the 1980s when he was planting an orchard on land owned by his father, a producer of educational films.

“I was at Tony’s packing shed and I picked up a tangerine out of a bin and peeled it and ate it the way you do at a packing shed, and it stopped me dead,” he remembers. “I said, ‘Tony, what is this?’ ” He said it was a Pixie tangerine. He said he only had two trees of them and that by the time they were done selling the Dancys, the kids had always eaten most of the Pixies.

“I swear, if there was a picture of that moment, you could see the light bulbs going off in my head.”

Churchill immediately planted 80 trees. Of course, selling the fruit was another matter. Every weekend he’d load the back of his Volvo station wagon with 22 cartons, and peddle them around Southern California.

The Pixie’s big break came thanks to Jim Maser, a friend of Churchill’s wife and partner, Lisa Brenneis. Maser, co-owner of Berkeley’s Cafe Fanny and other restaurants, recommended that Churchill try Bill Fujimoto at the legendary Monterey Market, also in Berkeley.

“So I packed up a carton and worked out how to get it to him up there by Greyhound Package Express,” Churchill recalled. “Bill called me right away and said, ‘Hey, these are really good. I’ll take a pallet at 80 cents a pound.’

“I couldn’t believe it. That one call represented something like 600% of my prior sales.”

Today Churchill farms about 12 acres of mandarins in Ojai, roughly two-thirds Pixies, the rest a mix of Kishus, Satsumas and Pages as well as a smattering of other varieties.

All told, he says, the association of 28 Ojai Pixie farmers sold about 900,000 pounds of fruit last year. About 10% of the fruit is sold through farm stands and farmers markets, with the rest going to gourmet groceries, mostly in the Bay Area, and to wholesale companies like Melissa’s, which has developed a special marketing campaign around them.

A fledgling group in the Sierra foothills is trying to do much the same thing with Satsumas, marketing their late-fall fruit as “mountain mandarins.”

Churchill and Thacher insist that there is more to an Ojai Pixie than a cute name. The combination of fruit and place, they say, really is special.

“Citrus is much more site specific than other fruit, and tangerines are the most site specific of all the citrus,” says Thacher. He says even within the limited confines of the Ojai Valley, there can be as much as six weeks’ difference in the ripening of the same variety, from one orchard to another.

“I get people e-mailing me -- they tried my Pixies and want to grow some of their own,” he says. “I tell them you really have to have the right microclimate. I’ve never had a decent Pixie from the Central Valley.”

Churchill doesn’t know why the Ojai Valley fruit turns out the way it does. “I think it’s the climate: We get hot, sunny days and cool nights. Winters, we get enough cold, but not too much. But that’s just a guess, nobody really knows.

“I guess you could say it’s a sense of terroir.”

Clementine. A large family of mandarins that came to the United States from the Mediterranean. The original “tangerines,” they have dark, reddish-orange peel with a rich flavor. Seedless when grown in isolation, but the flavor sometimes isn’t as rich. Algerians are an early variety of clementines. Midseason.

Dancy. One of the oldest commercial varieties (dating to the 1860s) and the traditional California mandarin this is the taste most people associate with tangerines. They can be quite seedy. Midseason.

Fairchild. One of the earliest-ripening mandarins, particularly when it is grown in the desert. Rich, sweet flavor, though difficult to peel and seedy. Early season.

Gold Nugget. Very similar to Pixies, Gold Nuggets are small fruit that are easy to peel and very sweet. Seedless. Late season.

Kishu. With tiny, gem-like fruit no bigger than a walnut, the Kishu is like a little piece of tangerine candy. Easy to peel and seedless. Midseason.

Lee. An incredibly sweet mandarin with a complex flavor and a high note almost like orange flower water. A bit difficult to peel, with seeds. Midseason.

W. Murcott Afourer. One of the prettiest mandarins, the Murcott has a peel that looks almost polished. The biggest grower in California sells them under the trademarked name Delite. Not to be confused with Murcott, which is the Honey tangerine of Florida. Seedless in isolation. Mid to late season.

Page. Along with the Lee, perhaps the best tasting of the mandarins. It is very sweet and has an extremely intense flavor that is almost winy. Seedless in isolation. Midseason.

Pixie. Small and sweet, with good flavor and little acidity. Seedless. Late season.

Satsuma. Satsumas can be dark or light orange in color, depending on the specific variety. The flavor can be mild, but tradition has it that trees at least 10 years old bear the best fruit. Seedless. Early season.


Steps to make Tangerine Cream Parfait

Grate tangerine zest

Grate 2 tablespoons peel from tangerines into zest.

Prepare tangerine gelatin

Working over a bowl, cut off the remaining peel and membrane around the tangerine and strain the segments through a strainer producing about 2 cups. Discard bits and reserve juice.

Prepare tangerine gelatin

In a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium-high heat, add sugar, gelatin, grated tangerine peel, and 1 cup tangerine juice and stir until combined and simmering. Remove from heat.

Combine egg yolks and tangerine juice

In a separate bowl beat remaining tangerine juice with the egg yolks until well combined. Add mixture into pan, and stir over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.


  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (see Tip)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 4-5 Pixie tangerines or clementines, divided, plus wedges for serving
  • 1-2 limes, divided, plus wedges for serving
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 cups packed thinly sliced red cabbage
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 whole-wheat flour tortillas (6-inch), warmed

To prepare chicken: Combine chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle the chicken with the spice mixture set aside.

Zest and juice enough tangerines (or clementines) and limes to get 1 teaspoon zest of each and 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons juice of each.

To prepare crema: Combine 1 teaspoon each of the tangerine zest and lime zest, 1 teaspoon each of the tangerine juice and lime juice, sour cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

To prepare slaw: Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons each tangerine juice and lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and oil in a medium bowl. Peel 3 tangerines and halve the segments. Add to the bowl along with cabbage, scallions and cilantro toss to coat.

Coat a grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high. Grill the reserved chicken until no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean cutting board let rest for 5 minutes, then slice.

To assemble the tacos, drizzle tortillas with a little crema and top with chicken, slaw and a little more crema. Serve with tangerine and lime wedges, if desired.

Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate crema (Step 3) and slaw (Step 4) for up to 4 hours.

Ancho chiles--dried poblano peppers--are one of the most popular dried chiles used in Mexico ancho chile powder has a mild, sweet spicy flavor. Look for it with specialty spices in large supermarkets or Mexican grocers.

To warm tortillas, wrap in barely damp paper towels and microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds or wrap in foil and bake at 300°F until steaming, 5 to 10 minutes.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups store-bought tangerine-orange juice blend
  • 3 cups finely ground store-bought shortbread cookies (about 12 ounces)
  • 5 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it has reduced to about 1 cup, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat set aside.

Pulse cookies, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor until thoroughly combined. With processor running, add melted butter process until combined. Press cookie mixture evenly into bottom, up sides, and onto rim of a 10-inch pie plate. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Put lemon juice into a small bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, the juice reduction, and the remaining 2 teaspoons zest in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes (do not let boil). Remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture, and whisk until gelatin has dissolved completely.

Transfer gelatin-egg yolk mixture to a large bowl. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cool and thick enough to hold a ribbon on surface, 25 to 30 minutes.

Put egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar beat until stiff but not dry peaks form. Fold egg-white mixture into gelatin-egg yolk mixture in 3 batches, folding until just combined after each addition. Pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or overnight.


Begin by preheating the oven to 350ºF. Grease a loaf pan with butter.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, zest, sour cream, and juice together until smooth.

Fill the loaf pan with the batter. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Test by poking the center with a fork or skewer to see if it comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the loaf pan for 5 minutes.

While the cake is cooking in the pan begin the glaze mix. Mix together the rest of the tangerine juice and the rest of the sugar. Mix until the glaze has thickened.

While the cake is still warm, transfer it to a wire rack and prick the warm cake all over with a skewer. Carefully pour over the drizzle mix and ensure that the juice sinks into the cake. The sugar will form a crisp topping while the cake finishes cooling.


Mandarin Ice Cream

Satsuma and honey mandarins are my favorite types of citrus for this recipe. You can, however, use any type of tangerine. The zest is used to infuse the cream, producing a mellow, round mandarin flavor. If you like Creamsicles, you will love this ice cream. It goes wonderfully with any citrus or chocolate dessert or stands alone on a hot summer day. I have added some dry skim milk powder to this recipe. It helps to absorb some of the extra water from the fresh tangerine juice, lending the ice cream a creamier texture.

Notes Storage: This ice cream is best if you serve it 4 to 6 hours after churning, but will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Ice Cream and Sorbet Guidelines:

Ice cream is one of the most versatile desserts. Laden with milk and cream, an ice cream base (a lightly thickened custard) can be infused with almost any flavor-from fresh herbs, dried spices, fragrant fruits, and chocolates of all types to numerous alcohols. Ice cream is usually frozen at temperatures well below freezing (32°F), and, yet, at these freezing temperatures, it is soft and scoopable, and its seemingly creamy and cool impression is magically pleasurable to our tongue. It can easily be combined with a crunchy candy or nuts or it can be served with a delightful crisp cookie or wafer. Ice cream satisfies the palate by appealing to our senses of temperature and texture and taste simultaneously. It is truly one of the world’s favorite desserts. And mine as well.

Some Science Involved in Ice Cream Making:

That said, producing smooth and creamy ice cream at home is a challenge. Every dessert cookbook provides recipes for this or that flavor, but what’s important about ice cream is understanding how the machinery and the ingredients interact to make ice cream.

Commercial ice cream makers produce their uniformly smooth and creamy ice cream by taking advantage of a number of factors that are, for the most part, inaccessible to the home cook. Machinery is the first of them, and, for reasons I’ll explore below, expensive industrial-strength ice cream machines simply do the job better than smaller units designed for home use. Commercial ice cream makers also use a wide range of thickening, gelling, and stabilizing agents that are essentially outside the purview of the home cook.

In order to extract the most decadent and delicious ice creams from our home machines we must consider the role played by the ingredients we do use. Ice cream is a complicated emulsion of water, sugar, protein, fat, and flavoring, with the special and unique properties of water acting as the principal player in the transmutation of custard into a frozen confection.

Controlling ice crystal formation, in terms of both their size and their number, is the essential secret to making good ice cream and sorbet as well. When pure water freezes, at 0°C (32°F), it forms hexagonal-shaped crystals with sharp edges that, if left alone, can grow quite large, becoming visible to the eye and clearly discernible on the tongue. In ice cream, neither large crystals nor sharp edges are desirable, so finding ways to make the crystals small enough so that we don’t taste or identify the individual crystals is the name of the game.

Before considering how the ingredients affect ice crystal formation, let’s look briefly at how ice cream machines function and their effect on ice crystal formation. These machines simultaneously chill and whip custards by rapid spinning with a sharp blade. In general, it’s the combination of a strong cooling mechanism, the speed and sharpness of the whipping blade (called a dasher), and the amount of air pumped into the mixture that produces the smaller ice crystals that give the final product a smoother texture. Commercial ice cream machines have these key features, while even the best home machines, for the most part, have weak cooling mechanisms, blunt plastic dashers, and minimal air circulation-never mind active air pumping.

What role do the ingredients play, then, in home ice cream making? Adding soluble ingredients-such as sugar or salt-lowers the freezing point of water. That’s why we put salt on ice in the winter: the salt lowers the freezing point of water, so that the ice melts because its freezing point has dropped below the air temperature. The same is true of sugar, the ingredient in ice cream base that actively lowers its freezing point. The lower the freezing point of a fluid, the more ice crystals will form (in a given volume) during freezing, and the smaller each individual crystal will become. That is, sugar directly results in smaller ice crystals and improved texture. Liquid sugars (or inverted sugars)-honey, corn syrup and its derivatives, caramel, maple syrup, malt syrup, and molasses, for example lower the freezing point of a fluid even more powerfully. The addition of liquid sugars helps ice cream bases and sorbet bases obtain a potentially smoother texture than they would otherwise with the addition of just ordinary table sugar (sucrose).

Another ingredient that affects the freezing process is protein, which is present in ice cream base from dairy and eggs. Proteins are large molecules that literally get in the way of ice crystal formations under certain conditions, proteins absorb water, forming a gel, thereby preventing existing ice crystals from growing larger. Every ice cream recipe in this chapter begins with a crème anglaise-a custard made of eggs, milk, cream, and sugar. The proteins in the mixture are heated and agitated (denatured), which allows them to form a gel. Water locked into a gel cannot migrate over to existing ice crystals-thereby increasing their size-or form its own ice crystals at normal freezer temperatures. Interestingly, most ice cream is hard enough to scoop at-15°F, and at that temperature only 70 percent of the water in the ice cream is present in the form of ice crystals.

Skim milk powder, a primary ingredient in good quality commercial ice cream and one that I also recommend depending on the recipe, is a convenient means of adding protein as well as sugar and other molecules to the ice cream base these molecules get in the way of ice crystal formation, controlling crystal size and improving the final texture of the frozen dessert. Egg whites are often added to sorbet mixtures. Proteins in egg whites function similarly to proteins in skim milk powder, improving the texture of sorbet.

Some commercial ice creams and sorbets utilize stabilizers, both natural and otherwise, to improve texture. An important class of stabilizers is the polysaccharides (including pectin, carrageenan, guar gum, locust bean gum, and cellulose gum). These molecules function similarly to proteins in one respect: they absorb water when gelled, thereby preventing water from migrating through the mixture to freeze onto existing ice crystals. Different stabilizers absorb more or less water, but almost all are effective in very small amounts.

The last ingredient that affects ice crystal formation is fat. Fat in ice cream comes from dairy and eggs. Just like proteins, fats are large molecules that physically block ice crystals from growing in size. In addition, whipped fat is an excellent vehicle for holding air pockets, and air lightens texture by increasing volume. Too much cream, however, can produce a grainy ice cream-the dasher (whipping blade) causes the high concentration of fat molecules to coalesce (as tiny flecks of hard butterfat), abandoning the air pockets they surround and breaking the creamy emulsion usually created in ice cream.

Dairy fat also contains natural emulsifiers, which are molecules that bind to both fat and water, improving texture and stability in ice cream base. In the ice cream recipes that follow, the principal emulsifier is lecithin, which is naturally found in egg yolks. In commercial ice creams, artificial emulsifiers such as those mysterious mono-and diglycerides one always sees in ingredient lists are added to increase the number of water molecules that are bound to fat rather than remaining on their own.

The Ins and Outs of Ice Cream Machines:

I’ve had less than wonderful experiences with expensive “gourmet” home ice cream machines that have their own cooling mechanisms. They’re heavy, they take up an enormous amount of cabinet and counter space, and, frankly, they’re just not powerful enough to freeze ice cream. Some of these machines take 30 minutes to churn the ice cream, and that’s just too long ideally, your ice cream should churn and set, at home, in 10 to 15 minutes at most.

I used one of these fancy machines at my first job as a pastry chef at the much-beloved Firefly in San Francisco, a small restaurant with a tiny, hot kitchen. For months, my ice cream was grainy, and I was convinced that I did not know how to make crème anglaise properly. I read every book available, trying to perfect my ice cream base. But no matter what I tried, the ice cream never came out smooth and creamy. Looking back, I realize that the problem wasn’t my crème anglaise, it was the ice cream maker, which, in the hot environment of Firefly’s kitchen, took about 40 minutes to churn each batch of ice cream. There’s just no hope that ice cream will come out well under such circumstances. But at the time, it drove me nuts.

There is a machine that I think works remarkably well, and, ironically enough, it’s one of the cheapest machines on the market, and it also takes the least amount of space in your kitchen. A number of manufacturers, including Cuisinart and Krups, make this unit, which consists of a canister, which is filled with a refrigerant (like Freon) that is prechilled for 24 hours in your freezer, and a small motor and blade upon which the canister sits. The blade is nothing special, and the speed of the motor is not terrific either (though that’s not surprising given the cost of the machine), but the canister, if chilled for a full day before use, is far more powerful than any self-contained chilling mechanism and will churn ice cream in no more than 15 minutes. It’s one of my favorite home tools, and I highly recommend that if you’re going to make ice cream, you acquire one. It will set you back less than eighty dollars, and it’s worth every penny.

Always remember that the time a machine takes to churn ice cream is a critical factor in the final consistency and texture of the ice cream. Make sure the ice cream base is first chilled on ice and then refrigerated for at least 2 hours and ideally 12 hours or overnight. Room-temperature or warm ice cream base increases freezing time. Also, ice cream base, as it sits in the refrigerator, increases in viscosity and this slightly thickened base has more body, yielding a creamier ice cream. A second recommendation for adhering to shorter freezing times is to make sure you are using the correct amount of base called for in your particular machine’s instructions. If you can, churn a little less ice cream base than the machine recommends and the ice cream will freeze faster, resulting in creamier ice cream.

All of the ice cream recipes in this book can be prepared ahead of time and chilled for a maximum of 2 days before churning. Churn the ice cream the day you plan to serve it. The natural emulsifiers present in these ice cream recipes are most effective in the first 24 hours after the ice cream is churned, lending the ice cream a luscious creamy texture. As churned ice cream sits in the freezer, ice crystals begin to grow and increase in size, attracting water molecules and pulling the ice cream out of emulsion. Unlike commercial ice creams, those made at home are not meant to sit in the freezer for long periods of time. At Chanterelle, even with my industrial-strength machine, I churn my ice cream every day. While the ice creams you make following my recipes can be stored for several days, they are best eaten within the first 24 hours.


How to Make It

Heat zest, half the juice, the sugar, and salt together in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add remaining tangerine juice, stirring to combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl and chill until cold, about 30 minutes. Stir in half-and-half and, if you like, liqueur.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer to a sealable container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.