my prince charming: bitter orange ice cream

I’m sure I’ve gushed again and again how much I love Sour. Sweet is nice, but sour is where it’s at in my book. Soon after I started getting interested in food as more than just “what’s for dinner” kind of thinking, I had heard about Seville oranges: the sourest of all oranges. It became a bit of a quest, my holy grail, to find a Seville orange. No matter where I looked, I couldn’t find a trace of that sour orange. I searched in high-end markets in February (the month when Sevilles are supposedly in store) with no luck. But then last week, after walking down Main Street in search of a pretty skirt, I lucked into a unassuming Asian market where the sign “Marmalade Oranges” caught my eye. Yes, I had finally struck Seville gold!

So I bagged up nearly a dozen oranges and made my way over to the house of a nearby friend who is also a bit of a sour fiend. We cut open the orange and checked it over. It had a very thick rind and a huge amount of seeds, but the essence of orange was strong. We cut a small segment each and sucked on it, laughing at our puckered reactions! Holy Sour Nirvana!! While we quickly decided that the Seville orange isn’t meant to be eaten out of hand, I started thinking up all kinds of things I could do with them. A great orangeade and a vinaigrette, for sure, but when I got home, I hopped on my computer and Google found the perfect recipe for me. Yes, another Nigella Lawson recipe with the enchanting (at least to me) name, Bitter Orange Ice Cream.

The best thing about this ice cream is that you don’t need an ice-cream maker or any special stirring techniques. Nope, just whip it and freeze it and a few hours later you have creamy frozen goodness. While this certainly isn’t traditional ice cream per se, it does scoop up nice into a firm little ball which is perfect for serving in a martini glass or in a dainty vintage sundae cup. If it were the season for fresh strawberries, I’d suggest eating it over a bowlful of those, but it is almost as nice to eat plain out of a bowl or atop a chocolate wafer.

This is a very rich dessert, so I’d suggest keeping serving sizes small but I certainly wouldn’t be against walking by the freezer with a spoon in hand in case of ice cream emergencies. I didn’t adjust or tweak the proportions in the original recipe one bit. It’s perfect as it is with the nicest balance of sweet and sour. And if you don’t have a Seville at hand, use 1 orange and 2 limes to make up the difference.

27 comments to “my prince charming: bitter orange ice cream”

  1. 1
    Rachel   February 19, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    This looks great! I wish I could find some Seville oranges!

  2. 2
    koronpa   February 19, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    i think i read somewhere that you live in Kits–i saw some Seville oranges at New Apple Farm Market on 4th yesterday!

  3. 3
    L Vanel   February 19, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    This is also a very good opportunity for vin d’orange.

  4. 4
    va5el1ne   February 20, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Hi, I really like your blog and you make such amazing looking food and I am itching to cook it all myself. I saw on your flickr some button cookies, and I was wondering if you had the recipe so I can make some for my besties birthday! If you could please direct me to the recipe it would be much appreciated!!

  5. 5
    lobstersquad   February 20, 2008 at 1:44 am

    to show you how crazy life is: I lived for ten years in Seville, where the streets are lined with orange trees. And never, ONCE, ate a Seville orange. People here despise them, they fall to the ground, or else get shipped to the UK to be made into marmalade. If only Iยดd known Nigella back then…Iยดd have been so happy.

  6. 6
    kickpleat   February 20, 2008 at 10:01 am

    rachel, good luck on your seville search!

    koronpa, nope, i live in strathcona, not kits. but thanks for the tip!

    lvanel, definitely a good suggestion! i recently came across a recipe for vin d’orange using blood oranges and the colour was spectacular!

    va5el1ne, those button cookies were from a martha stewart kids magazine (i think). they were just plain old sugar cookies so i’m sure you can find a recipe on the martha stewart site or just use any sugar cookie recipe! i wrote about the cookies here:

    ha, that is amazing, lobstersquad! i love hearing stories like that.

    really, mari, who isn’t? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. 7
    Patricia Scarpin   February 20, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Kickpleat, as a fan of all things citrus, I beg you to send some of this ice cream my way, ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 8
    michelle @ Us vs. Food   February 20, 2008 at 11:34 am

    no churning at all, you say? brilliant! i bet somewhere in new york city there are seville oranges being sold; i must only find them. i have many yolks in my refrigerator asking to be made into citrus curd.

    then again, the royal foodie joust @ the leftover queen’s is pork and citrus this month. hmmm.

  9. 9
    michelle @ Us vs. Food   February 20, 2008 at 11:35 am

    oh, and while i’m here, promised kristen @ dine & dish that i would plug adopt-a-foodblogger round too. she has too many wanna-be adoptees (me included!) and not enough parents.

  10. 10
    Rachael M.   February 20, 2008 at 3:15 pm


    I have been wanting to make ice cream lately, but lack an ice cream machine!

  11. 11
    Mari   February 20, 2008 at 7:55 am

    I’m a fan of strolling by the freezer with a spoon! Yum!

  12. 12
    Aimรฉe   February 20, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Kickpleat! Feel free to drop by my blog to collect an award…
    The pleasure is all mine!
    Keep up the great work.

  13. 13
    pRiyA   February 21, 2008 at 2:01 am

    oh i’ve tried this before because it was so easy. but like all things delicious, yes, it is very rich. but hey, it’s worth a shot at again…

  14. 14
    Erika   February 20, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    mmmmmmm ice cream. I think we’ll try this as our next one. The most recent one was a custard based vanilla with chopped up reese’s peanut butter cups. (so naughty)

  15. 15
    Cakespy   February 21, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Oh man. Not only does this sound intensely delicious–but the photography on this post is simply stunning. Gorgeous!

  16. 16
    Kate / Kajal   February 21, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Linked on to your blog from Aimee’s … congratulations on your award and i see its well deserved. Love the orange ice cream.

  17. 17
    toni elle.   February 21, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    amazing!!! im definately obsessed with your blog. check out mine sometime too:)

  18. 18
    kickpleat   February 22, 2008 at 9:04 am

    patricia, i’m passing the spoon right now!

    michelle, i’m sure you can find a seville somewhere in nyc. the no churning part is brilliant. and i’ll definitely look into the adopt-a-blogger!

    rachel, enjoy this churn-free dessert!

    aimee, thanks for the award!

    ericka, wow, your ice cream sounds amazing!

    priya, i’m glad you’ve had a taste of this ice cream! maybe it’s time to revisit this dessert ๐Ÿ™‚

    aw shucks, thanks cakespy!

    thanks kate!

    thank you little miss veggie, off to check your blog now!

  19. 19
    Bijoux   February 22, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    I’m late responding to this post as I have been very busy with work and house hunting and night school. Life – in general has kept me busy and tired. This “ice cream” looks spectacular…although I’m not a huge fan of sour fruits and tangy citrus…I could certainly make an exception with this super whipped and creamy dessert…looks like heaven!

  20. 20
    kickpleat   February 23, 2008 at 10:46 am

    bijoux, this does taste heavenly and the creaminess really works with the sour tang of the orange!

    tania, if you love sour, you’d love this! bonus points for being really easy to whip up!

  21. 21
    Tania   February 23, 2008 at 5:21 am

    I’m a huge fan of “sour,” too! I love marmalade with big slices of bitter rind … yum! This ice cream makes me pucker just looking at it.

  22. 22
    Yvonne   February 28, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    I just found Seville oranges at my local grocer and can’t wait to try this recipe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. 23
    Rachael M.   February 29, 2008 at 4:48 am

    Well, I couldn’t find seville oranges anywhere…so I’m trying this with Strawberries!

    I’ll report back on my results.

  24. 24
    Rachael M.   February 29, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Wow. Strawberries definitely work. I took about a cup and sort of mashed them up to get them all good and juicey and piecy. I added about a tablespoon of sugar and let them sit in the fridge for an hour. I was going to add the whole mixture to the cream, but though it might break down the cream too much…should’ve gone with my first instinct, but there is still a creamy, rich definite strawberriness…I meant to add a tsp of vanilla to just make it super wow, but forgot.

    Never fear; I’ll be making this easy ice cream again.

    To make things all the more awesome, I pulled together a quick brownie recipe and baked them flat in a jelly roll and will make ice-cream sandwiches to serve for dessert tonight ๐Ÿ˜€


  25. 25
    kickpleat   March 1, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    hooray for finding sevilles, yvonne! let me know how you like this recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

    rachael, so glad you tried it with strawberries! i’ll bet it was delicious.

  26. 26
    toro   March 17, 2008 at 1:36 am

    I live in japan.
    I’m gethering date about ice cream and dessart.
    please link to this site.

  27. 27
    koyfish85   January 22, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Just a comment, and I am not sure how long ago this was posted. Seville Oranges are planted all over the Arizona State University campus, on streets and parks in Phoenix. Every year the streets bloom beautifully with sevilles, although I find this to be wasteful. The sour thing deserves more credit. If you are ever in Phoenix during Jan-March, the ASU main campus is practically a haven for the orange, also where broadway and mill cross it is practically an orchard. I shamelessly take these oranges on the sly, and use them. Everyone should.

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