Seville and Blood Orange Sorbet with Sichuan Pepper

3 February 2011

I know the first month of the year has already gone, but I hope all of you had a great start to the year. I’ve been working on some exciting projects, and winning this gorgeous selection of pieces must be an indication of more good things to come :) Thank you Nikole!

We are still only half way through the gloomy British winter, but I can definitely feel spring in the air, and early January when these beautiful oranges start appearing makes me feel we’ve turned the corner.

I’ve written how much I love Seville oranges before, and making this sorbet has been an annual ritual. I recently spotted some beautiful blood oranges too and couldn’t help trying a recipe that combines them.

Browsing through my ice cream bible, David‘s Perfect Scoop, I was intrigued by his orange and Sichuan pepper ice cream recipe. I love Sichuan peppercorns (although they are technically berries) – they are fragrant and not overly spicy, the citrussy flavour seems to work well in many dishes, and one of my recent favourite recipes is Nicky’s 3 pepper spaghetti carbonara.

David infuses the pepper and orange zest in ice cream, but I wanted to try the flavour in a sorbet. He suggested I use Tangelo instead of Seville oranges as it has much more juice – unfortunately I couldn’t get hold of any, and by the time he told me I already had 5kg or so of oranges in the house so I decided to stick with them.

It was my first time to use Sichuan pepper in a sweet dish so I went a little easy on them, and it turned out perfect for my taste. I loved the subtle kick in the aftertaste, and the balance of tartness between the two types of orange.

I made some matcha Langues de Chat biscuits (‘cat’s tongues’ in French, similar to tuiles) to go with it – I remembered that it was lovely when I served this matcha and white chocolate cake with Seville orange sorbet. I dipped some of the biscuits in white chocolate, but they are delicious as they are too.

I used the same amount of juice from both oranges, but you can use just one type, or different proportions. Just make sure to adjust the sugar quantity as Seville oranges are much more tart than blood oranges.

I’m hoping to make another couple of batches before the oranges are gone for another year – I always try to make enough to keep for a while, but they never last long in our freezer.


Seville and blood orange sorbet with Sichuan pepper

serves 4-6

125ml juice of blood oranges
125ml juice of Seville oranges (as well as zest of 1 orange)
120g caster sugar
200ml water
1 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns

Roughly crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Place the sugar, water, peppercorns and zest in a saucepan over a moderate heat, bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until syrupy. Steep for about an hour or so.

When cool, add the orange juice and strain the liquid. Chill the mixture in the fridge, then churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Matcha langues de chat (adapted from this Japanese recipe)

makes about 40-50

100g unsalted butter (softened)
100g icing sugar
100g egg white (about 2 large whites, room temperature)
5g matcha
70g plain flour
30g ground almonds
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180ºC .

In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt just until it starts foaming.

Slowly add the egg white into the butter mixture, stirring it in as you add.

Sieve the matcha, then flour and ground almonds into the mixture, and gently mix.

Transfer the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe the mixture onto a baking sheet, leaving enough room between the strips for them to spread.

Bake for 5-6 minutes, or until the edges are just slightly brown. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Food - Sweet    Seasons    93 comments    Permalink

  • I have made blood orange sorbet. Adding the pepers is something I’ll need to try. It sounds delicious. Nikoles blog isnew to me. It looks lovely

    Posted by Barbara | 3 February 2011 #
  • I love the colors of blood oranges…And sichuan pepper! Nice idea to combinate their flavours…

    Posted by Dominique | 3 February 2011 #
  • Love this combination of the tart sweet orange and the heat from the pepper. My kind of sorbet! I was even thinking this combination would be a nice sauce on fish. Yum.

    Posted by Heather Antonelli | 3 February 2011 #
  • So, so excited to see a new post!! Even more so because of my great love for Sichuan pepper. I’m making three orange marmalade at work, for our charcuterie plate, and now I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to steep in some Sichuan peppers. Awesome.

    Posted by Stella | 3 February 2011 #
  • This sorbet would be perfect for summery days we have down here.
    As usual your post is an inspiration, so lovely !

    Posted by Vanille | 3 February 2011 #
  • Your work is always so stunning. Love everything.

    Posted by Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets | 4 February 2011 #
  • Perfect!!!! I have to try this recipe :D
    I love your blog.

    Posted by Ale73 | 4 February 2011 #
  • Always a smile when one of your posts comes up in my reader and this recipe looks like a winner – I also have about 3kg of blood oranges, I’ll have to hunt around and see if I can find Seville here in Austria.

    Posted by Sasa | 4 February 2011 #
  • Your photos are beautiful. I like the idea of serving them with Matcha biscuits, but I’m not sure about the peppercorns – I must try this recipe!

    Posted by Pudding Pie Lane | 4 February 2011 #
  • Citrus fruit are the gift of winter to us in order to compensate for those gloomy, dark and cold days. Making a citrus sorbet this time of year is the ultimate revenge.
    Beautiful color that pink!

    Posted by my little expat kitchen | 4 February 2011 #
  • Greetings from Sevilla

    Posted by Nimenos | 4 February 2011 #
  • That’s a combo I would not have thought of but now that you’re introducing it, I’m getting curious of its taste. Thanks for such a beautiful post as ever. :)

    Posted by Lil | 4 February 2011 #
  • I was eating blood oranges while reading your post, now I feel like I should have keep them to do this recipe. Looks wonderful.

    Posted by Catherine | 4 February 2011 #
  • This looks delicious, love the matcha biscuits!

    Posted by Hanna | 4 February 2011 #
  • This sorbet looks so fresh and deoicious!

    Posted by le rocher | 4 February 2011 #
  • Did I say this looks wonderful? Mmmm too. I adore your linens.

    Posted by Lucy | 4 February 2011 #
  • I love Sichuan peper!!
    I always use the peper to fry some dishes,your sorbet totally amazed me~~!

    Posted by Ada | 5 February 2011 #
  • Fantastic citrus combination! I will try this recipe :) If someone is interested in getting blood oranges direct from spanish orchards, (without post-harvest treatments), please visit,

    Posted by Clementina | 5 February 2011 #
  • Keiko, this Blog post is so lovely. You make gossamer light art out of food photograsphy.I love Seville oranges, and we have just made lots and lots of marmalade. Can’t wait to see you! All good wishes, Silvana.

    Posted by Silvana de Soissons | 5 February 2011 #
  • What a perfect seasonal treat, love seville and blood oranges, can’t get enough of them this time of year! Will definitely be trying this sorbet, and also the matcha langues du chat match so well with these crisp, citrussy flavours. Yum.

    Posted by scandilicious | 5 February 2011 #
  • I looove blood oranges. I usually just eat them as is but may make sorbet after seeing this!

    Posted by Nisrine, Dinners & Dreams | 5 February 2011 #
  • I’ll never forget the scent of svilian orange tree flowers blooming in early andalusian spring… Are the spanish city orange fruits still Fortnum&Mason monopoly and used in their famous marmalade? Thank you for your nice posts and your lovely photos.

    Posted by Emmanuelle Mourareau | 6 February 2011 #
  • Another amazing recipe to try. Wonderful shots as always. Tasteful words. Last year I tried delightful vin d’orange. But it’s getting harder to find these wonderful oranges. :(

    Posted by Gozde | 6 February 2011 #
  • I came across your web site by accident and loved it with all the photos of food, dessert and everyday surrounds.I will certainly try the seville sorbet having just made marmalade with them. Is matcha just powered green tea?

    Posted by Winnie | 6 February 2011 #
  • It is nearly impossible to get hold of Seville oranges here in Munich, oh how I envy you, I’d love to try this recipe! (And so glad you like my pasta recipe!!!)

    Posted by Nicky | 7 February 2011 #
  • I love everything you posted especially the fascinating potos you took. Very great.

    Posted by Maria Isabel Rodrigo | 8 February 2011 #
  • Sichuan pepper with orange, how intriguing….absolutely adult! Your photos are beautiful as usual, Keiko.

    Posted by Shirley@kokken69 | 8 February 2011 #
  • these oranges looks sooo juicy…

    Posted by Paula | 8 February 2011 #
  • dearest keiko, happy new year! – here’s to a fabulous and fulfilling 2011. so so beautiful post, as always…xo,joycelyn

    Posted by Joycelyn | 9 February 2011 #
  • Only recently did I try blood oranges for the first time. Pairing it with sichuan peppers sounds even more intriguing.

    Posted by Shaheen | 9 February 2011 #
  • This is just gorgeous – I would never have thought of pairing the blood orange with matcha, how unusual ! Beautiful photos.

    Posted by foodie and the chef | 13 February 2011 #
  • I’ve made tomato and red pepper soup using a dash of orange juice before now. It wasn’t bad, but I wonder if Sichuan pepper would take it up a level.

    Posted by David | 14 February 2011 #
  • Thank you for the recipe. Enjoyed the pictures. We lived many years in Japan and it is always a thrill for me to re-visit Japan, even if it is through other peoples blogs.

    Posted by Valerie | 17 February 2011 #
  • I love it the recipie, Where they are inseason I have for breakfast. Slice in half, sprinke with sugar and grill until caramelised.
    Or crush a few seeds from a cardamom pot, mix with caster sugar and sprinkle over a halved grapefruit.

    Posted by kitchenvoyage | 18 February 2011 #
  • Such a beautiful post – what a heavenly flavor combination. I’m in the midst of citrus mania over here and will definitely give this a go. I’ve been sort of easing back in to blogging, and I’ve been checking in over here. I’m so happy to see this lovely new post and hope all is well.

    Posted by | 19 February 2011 #
  • I just discovered your blog while surfing on the Internet. Your blog appears to be very informative, written well and highly appealing. My first reaction was: WOW! that is something. The photos are out of this world. You can be sure I will be a frequent visitor and I will place your address in my list of “enjoyable” blogs. (our address is:; company name: Chocolates & Figs, and my name is: Georgette G.”
    Could you possibly write a blog about your photography methods?

    Posted by Georgette G | 20 February 2011 #
  • Wow-made this after a raclette dinner party,so needed a light dessert. It was amazing. I served almond tuiles and candied orange peel with it.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Posted by Leanne Leroy | 20 February 2011 #
  • BEAUTIFUL! Delicious and gorgeous blog. So happy I stumbled across you!!

    Posted by Shyla | 22 February 2011 #
  • It must be the season for szechwan peppercorns in dessert…I am doing one tomorrow… they are good aren’t they and the orange with them is superb. What beautiful photos you take… serene.

    Posted by deana@lostpastremembered | 24 February 2011 #
  • HI Keiko, My captain just offered me if I want an ice cream maker he will get me one….

    Love your stories as usual..

    Posted by shalimar | 27 February 2011 #
  • I have only made one batch of ice cream in my ice cream maker but this looks so delicious I just might have to break my ice cream maker back out!

    Posted by Sammie | 2 March 2011 #
  • These are beautiful photo’s and your blood oranges and juice are such a stunning colour. The sorbet would be the perfect dessert after a heavy winter meal and I will be saving this recipe to impress my guests at some stage!

    Posted by Amanda | 5 March 2011 #
  • Beautiful photos as always! The sorbet looks so pretty in the mandarin orange pink color. I like that you added a little Japanese touch to your serving by adding matcha Langues de Chat. 5 kg worth of oranges is a ton of oranges! It must have been nice to use them to make this recipe otherwise you’d have to eat them everyday for a while until your hands turn orange!

    Posted by Kaho | 6 March 2011 #
  • Beautiful photos and love the flavors of this sorbet.

    Posted by alyce | 9 March 2011 #
  • Heard about Japan, I hope you and your family are Ok?, and hoping to see you and your pictures soon.

    Posted by Hale | 17 March 2011 #
  • Keiko, I assume you still have friends and family in Japan. How are they fairing, after this horrible earthquake and tsunami? Hope all is well.

    Posted by Doris Watson | 17 March 2011 #
  • I don’t remember the last time I’ve had Seville oranges… I can’t find them easily here in Japan, and if I do, I fear they will be astronomical in price…

    Posted by elle marie | 19 March 2011 #
  • gorgeous. I love blood oranges. i have a healthy fascination with them. and I think they love me too.

    Posted by tinytearoom | 19 March 2011 #
  • One of my new resolution this year was to bake with matcha. This recipe seems more than appropriate! And the light on your blood oranges is absolutely gorgeous! Stunning pics!

    Posted by christelleisflabbergasting | 20 March 2011 #
  • Me gusta mucho el enfoque de tu blog. Muy cuidado en todos los detalles. Tenéis una nueva seguidora desde las Islas Canarias

    Posted by cajadesabores | 21 March 2011 #
  • .... thinking of you….

    Posted by shalimar | 28 March 2011 #
  • Wow! I saw your blog featured on the Times top 50 food blogs, and it’s absolutely beautiful!
    Your pictures are absolutely amazing, what kind of camera do you use?
    Jessica x

    Posted by Jessica Field | 2 April 2011 #
  • colourful delicious dessert looks wonderful

    Posted by torviewtoronto | 6 April 2011 #
  • Amazing site! Now i know why this blog is considered as one of the best..Nice recipe! I am hungry already… anyway.. You might want to read this < a href =“”>America’s Secret Recipes, for It has almost all the recipes of the < a href =“”>Best Food In Town

    Posted by Best Food In Town | 9 April 2011 #
  • I’m so greedy and your blog is delicious.
    I’m a blogger but fashion fur blogger take a look at my blog
    Gnammy gnammy
    With love and chocolate :=)

    Posted by welovefur | 12 April 2011 #
  • Very nice and attentive to details, if you’re interested visit

    Posted by claudiu | 27 April 2011 #
  • Thanks for posting. This recipe is very unique and I can’t wait to try it!

    Posted by Daniel Orr | 5 May 2011 #
  • I bought some lovely Sichuan peppercorns recently but I had no idea what I could cook with them. Thanks for the inspiration, I can’t wait to try this sorbet and the pepper carbonara!


    Posted by Katia | 6 May 2011 #
  • Great recipe. I am looking forward to trying it out. It will be perfect for the wonderful spring weather right now. I have not paired with sichuan pepper before, thanks for the new insight!

    Posted by Andrew | 7 May 2011 #
  • Looks healthy and delicious. Yummy photos too. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I like it.

    Posted by Pat | 28 May 2011 #
  • please sign me up to your beautiful blog..thank you.

    Posted by dana | 29 May 2011 #
  • Hi! Your article rocks and is really a very good understand!…

    Posted by technology news | 1 June 2011 #
  • Wow this looks absolutely good and probably taste delicious. I can’t wait to try this at home.

    Posted by jennifer | 1 June 2011 #
  • In the same way you can make Strawberry sorbet : the Sichuan pepper gives just the right twist to the strawberry sweetness…
    (and your blog is beautiful)

    Posted by KinK | 1 June 2011 #
  • Hello Keiko

    I’m so happy that I’ve stumbled upon your blog.. it is so enjoyable to read and the pictures just make my mouth water :) By the way, may I know the camera and lens you are using for taking these lovely food photos?

    Posted by absolutmocha | 2 June 2011 #
  • Wow! Amazing combinations. Inspiring, I’m now thinking yuzu and licorice… Perhaps?

    Posted by TJG | 3 June 2011 #
  • Thanks for the recipe. I’m trying to cut out ice cream and this looks like an ideal substitute.

    Posted by Richard | 4 June 2011 #
  • Inspiring recipe and stunning photography. I am delighted of stumbling upon your blog!

    Posted by momographica | 10 June 2011 #
  • I will try this out with clients and credit this blog, this looks fantastic

    Posted by Clare in Hampshire | 15 June 2011 #
  • Your sorbet makes winter warmer, even if it’s cold. Colours are so beautiful and alive. Great.

    Posted by Lucia | 18 June 2011 #
  • Oh Oh your photography is sublime as always ! I wish you would be able to do some photography for me !!

    Posted by Vanessa Kimbell | 11 July 2011 #
  • your fotos are amazing! :)

    Posted by betty | 15 July 2011 #
  • ‘The 50 Best Food Websites’ by The independent on 16th July has guided me through here. Love your beautiful pictures! Will come back again and again.

    Posted by tenko | 17 July 2011 #
  • Brilliant! some of the best food pics I have ever seen. Glad I found your site.

    Posted by philip hendon | 24 July 2011 #
  • Keiko-san,
    You’ve stopped posting for a very long time now… Your fans miss you. Hope you’re keeping well.

    Posted by L | 28 July 2011 #
  • Great recipe, I’ve always loved sorbet and the idea of that Sichuan kick sounds pretty good!

    Posted by gastrostu | 9 August 2011 #
  • Excellent pictures. This sorbet looks fabulous. I will try it soon.

    Posted by Mike @ How To Make A Smoothie At Home | 24 August 2011 #
  • Looks great. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you.

    Posted by World Best Recipes | 24 August 2011 #
  • Very fatastic blog! i’m happy just staring at those fatastic photos!

    Posted by Noos Sara | 26 August 2011 #
  • Your images and words are always worth seeing and reading again. I’m writing because though we don’t know each other, I’ve thought of you often since the earthquake in Japan, and hope that your loved ones are all well, and finding some normalcy, and you too. I look forward to your next posting, both because they are wonderful, and as an indication that times are happier.

    Posted by naomi | 27 August 2011 #
  • Hi Keiko! What stunning photography! You make food look exactly as it should…simple, beautiful and clean. Keep up the good work!

    Posted by Jennifer | 4 September 2011 #
  • I am officially addicted to this recipe!

    Posted by Karl | 21 September 2011 #
  • Love your desert recipe. I love icecream. Thank you.

    Posted by Calypso Bay | 24 September 2011 #
  • Oh, the photos are beautiful. The combination of ingredients sounds excinting.

    Posted by Lemon | 29 September 2011 #
  • What a great blog! Thank you for sharing. Do you have a facebook?

    Posted by merle | 7 October 2011 #
  • This looks absolutely delicious! Recently tried blood orange ice cream here in the South of France and it was so amazing. The sorbet must be even better!

    Posted by The French Life | 11 October 2011 #
  • Woderful blog. I love the icecream recipe . It looks delicious !

    Posted by Chitra | 14 October 2011 #
  • Your photography is simply amazing…..just breathtakingly beautiful!!!!!!

    Posted by black dog :: food blog | 1 November 2011 #
  • Where t u? miss u…

    Posted by Hale | 4 November 2011 #
  • I love blood oranges and not too many people use this ingredient. My fave cupcakes are blood orange cake and frosting and they are the best cupcakes ever. Thanks for sharing this. :)

    Posted by blondebomber | 4 November 2011 #
  • Great post.Thanks for sharing.The icecream looks delicious.

    Posted by Wendy | 9 November 2011 #
  • i’ll surely try this recipe. but i want to add a “twist” on it. i want to add some greek yogurts since i REALLY love it. what do you think? would that be okay?

    Posted by amy | 2 March 2012 #
  • Very neat photos, they really add up to the excitement to taste this ice cream.

    Posted by HughTFall | 28 August 2012 #

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