Orange Red Hot Sorbet

A frozen treat that packs heat and crunch
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Orange Red Hot Sorbet

Bill Smith, cookbook author and chef of Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has been making his orange Red Hot sorbet at home for years. What makes this sorbet extra special is folding in Red Hots (yes, those hot and spicy candies you remember from childhood) just before freezing the sorbet so that it can continue to set and firm. What you end up with is a frozen treat that has pockets of sweetness, orange flavor and bursts of cinnamon crunch from the Red Hots.

To learn more, read "Red Hot and Southern."  

Orange Red Hot Sorbet

Recipe adapted from Bill Smith, Crook's Corner, Chapel Hill, NC

Yield: 1 quart

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time


2 cups water

1 cup sugar

2 cups fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

½ cup Red Hots


1. Make an ice bath and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves, 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Add the orange juice and zest and transfer the mixture to a 1-gallon resealable freezer bag. Seal the bag and submerge it in the ice bath until completely chilled, about 20 minutes.

4. Pour the chilled sorbet base into the pre-chilled bowl of an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions to churn until set, 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and fold in the Red Hots. Press a sheet of parchment directly onto the surface of the sorbet. Cover the container with a lid and freeze until the sorbet is firm, 2 to 3 hours. Remove from the freezer and let stand at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

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