Tangerine Sorbet and Roasted Chestnuts say It’s Thanksgiving

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Tangerine Sorbet and How to Roast Chestnuts by Angela Roberts

When I saw tangerine sorbet in Marcella Hazan’s cookbook, I knew it would have to make the cooking Italy schedule for November. And it is even more delicious than I expected, especially because I used dark rum and need I say more.

I had to use strict discipline today because this is for tomorrow and once you get one, you will see, this is not your every day sorbet! It will take your holiday to a whole new level, and is giving me many ideas for cocktails. (Note: Since I served this, you need to know it was voted best dessert in a Thanksgiving dessert get together, even amongst the children, when their was pie and cake available).

My Thanksgiving dinner is going to be a bit untraditional this year, as I’m not making a turkey or traditional side dishes, however, it will point back to tradition in some way. Growing up, tangerines and roasted chestnuts were always a part of our Thanksgiving celebration and more important than pumpkin pie. Tangerines would fill a big bowl and chestnuts would be roasted and salted and always part of the dessert line up.

It takes me back to memories of my grandfather, who left Sicily for the adventures of America TWICE, and on his second adventure back to the states met my American born Italian grandmother and, by some miracle and mystery, she married him. She was not the type of woman to marry a man from “the old country” with an accent. But, they married and, even more incredibly, they stayed married. I say incredible because they lived separate lives under the same roof, but no one would know that on the holidays.

How do I explain their mismatch? It’s like a stiletto marrying a brown shoe with worn out soles. It made no sense, for I think the only thing they had in common was the love of good food, but that can obviously be enough to keep an unlikely couple together. They both appreciated the delicious sweetness of a good piece of fruit or the savory satisfaction of salted, roasted chestnuts, foods wrapped in Italian tradition. They always sat at the same table and enjoyed the same traditions, and I can distinctly remember that it would not be a Thanksgiving without tangerines.


What do I have to be thankful for? Many things that are personal to me, but I do want to take the time to be thankful to you, my readers, who encourage me more than you know. Every comment means something and every connection I make is special. Spinach Tiger has taken a life of its own in our house, and in a sense you have also become part of my kitchen life, and our family. Even my husband reads the comments and is familiar with some of my favorite food bloggers. It feels like family and to that I wish you best and happiest Thanksgiving with many special memories.

Roast chestnuts by cutting an x and roasting for 25-35 minutes at 475.

Tangerine Sorbet Recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Tangerine Sorbet and Roasted Chestnuts

Tangerine sorbet, a refreshing dessert for the holidays.
Prep Time2 hours
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • zest of half orange and half lemon
  • 6-8 tangerines
  • 1 large orange juiced
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 3 tablespoons rum or 2 tablespoons dark rum


  • Make simple syrup by boiling sugar and water. Add zest. Set aside.
  • Carefully cut tops off tangerines. You will use six of them as serving cups.
  • Carefully pull out the tangerines, not breaking shells.
  • Juice all fruit. Add to cooled simple syrup. Chill completely.
  • Process through ice cream maker. Add rum at end.
  • Chill for several hours to overnight. Freeze tangerine shells.
  • Fill frozen shells with sorbet. Freeze again for at least one hour.

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If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo



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          1. The tangerine sorbet in Marcella Hazans cookbook calls for a frothy whipped egg white in her recipe. I was just wondering if you had ever used it

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