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[Photographs: Max Falkowitz]

So you want a dessert that's lighter than ice cream but more weighty than sorbet. It should be tart and bright, but creamy enough to leave you satisfied.

What you don't want is diet ice cream, so loaded with stabilizers and sugar substitutes and frozen air that by the time you finish your bowl, you wonder why you bothered in the first place.

Instead, how about sherbet, which tastes just as fruity as a dairy-free sorbet, but with some creamy heft for balance. It's not low carb, nor "low fat" per se, but you won't need as much of it to be satisfied, and hey, look! It's pretty and pink! And it's a another way to take advantage of ruby-red blood oranges, those berry-sweet citrus fruits that are just about everywhere right now.

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This recipe uses a ratio of two parts blood orange juice to one part each heavy cream and corn syrup. That's more dairy fat than is typical for sherbet, which usually uses milk instead of cream, but let's be real. Nothing tastes more like cream than real cream, and the extra fat encourages not just some balance to all that citrus, but an especially soft texture.

There's scoopable ice cream, and then there's so-soft-it-ripples-like-hot-fudge ice cream. This is the latter, so smooth and creamy you'll be surprised it wasn't made by a professional. Cream is partially responsible for that, but the real hero is corn syrup. Corn syrup is an invert sugar, meaning its molecules can't form crystals the way sucrose syrups can. And just like adding some corn syrup to fudge keeps it smooth and grit-free, adding it to ice cream yields a scoop that's creamier, less icy, and more elastic than it would be otherwise.

But enough about cream and corn syrup. By the time you scoop this into a bowl you'll only have one thing on your mind: citrus, sweet and tart and as fresh-tasting as can be. It's berry-tinged with surprising depth, something to keep the spring in your step no matter how cold it gets outside.

Get the Recipe

Blood Orange Sherbet »

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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