mandarin ginger sorbet


When life gives you tiny tasteless oranges make Mandarin Ginger Sorbet. Those grocery store bundles are a mixed bag at best – some ripe fruit and some not so much. When reaching into the fruit bowl feels like Russian roulette, it’s time for this sorbet. It takes almost no effort and turns a bundle of so-so citrus into a sure-fire hit.

There are limits. If the citrus is completely tasteless there’s not much of anything that’s going to help. But it works like magic on mediocre fruit. A dose of sugar and the bite of ginger really enhances mandarin-ness of the juices. How you get those juices is the only real challenge – and there’s a couple of solutions.

juicing tiny oranges

I tried juicing tiny oranges and this is what happened

Electric juicer: Every drop of juice was extracted but the orange skins were so thin that they disintegrated in my hand.

Immersion Blender: I peeled the mandarins then threw the whole fruits into a bowl and blitzed them with an immersion blender. The juice was strained out, leaving the seeds and membranes behind. This is was easy and kind of worked but it took a lot of effort with the immersion blender. A few bits of chopped up seeds found their way through the strainer.

Handheld Lemon Presser: Cut in half and press. It took a little more time than the electric juicer and the immersion blender. But it was easy, effective and required the least amount of clean up. Any of these methods will work but the lemon presser was the clear winner for me.

It takes about 10-11 small mandarin oranges for this recipe.



A super simple recipe for Mandarin Ginger sorbet that is sweet and tart.  A great way to use up fruit that isn’t perfectly ripe.  Sugar boosts the orangy goodness of the mandarins and ginger gives the whole thing a refreshing kick.  



  • 300g  water
  • 300g  sugar
  •     9g  tapioca starch
  •   68g  light corn syrup
  • zest of half a mandarin orange
  • fresh ginger 


  • 460g  mandarin orange juice 
  •            sugar syrup (see above) 



Cut two small thin rounds of ginger about the width and thickness of a quarter.  

Make the sugar syrup.  Combine water with the sugar, tapioca starch, corn syrup, ginger and zest in a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.

Stir continuously for about 8-11 minutes until the mixture just starts to boil (do not allow it to come to a full boil)  Once the texture of the sugar syrup becomes thicker and viscous (or once it hits 212 degrees if you are using a thermometer)  immediately take it off the heat. 

Place it in a container (including the zest and ginger)  Let it cool to room temperature then refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours to a maximum of 24 hours.  The longer it rests the deeper the flavor.  


Discard the zest and ginger.  Thoroughly mix the mandarin juice with the sugar syrup.


Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

The sorbet is finished when it reaches the consistency of soft serve ice cream (about 20-30 minutes in most machines)

Scoop into a container, place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper on the surface and freeze until firm (2-4 hours minimum)


  • The size of the mandarin zest should be a little over an inch.  Anything bigger will absorb too much of the sugar syrup and throw off the proportions of the recipe.
  • No need to fuss over the ginger. Slice it and throw it in. Peel it or not – your choice. 
  • For a subtle ginger flavor take out the ginger after 20 minutes. The longer the ginger sits in the syrup the stronger the flavor. 


  • R

    Great recipe – hadn’t used a tapioca starch before but this made for a great texture, thanks!
    I had some very sweet/high-sugar content mandarins so it only just froze, but kept such a lovely smooth texture and mouthfeel. Would you reduce the sugar next time if you had that problem of it not freezing – or the tapioca?

    • MJ

      I am so glad you enjoyed it, this is one of my favorites. The tapioca in the sorbet syrup help binds the water content which prevents ice crystals from forming and gives it that lovely creamy texture. If you have super ripe sugary fruit I would suggest cutting down the sugar by around 10%-ish. It’s hard formulating fruit sorbets as ‘one-size fits all’ recipes since the sugar content in fruit can vary drastically. The recipes I have on here I’ve formulated for supermarket fruit that the majority of home cooks have access to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating