A Cool Springtime Treat from Deb's Kitchen
A Cool Springtime Treat
Ojai Pixie tangerines and Melissa's Produce are synonymous to me. I was introduced to Pixie tangerines as a corporate chef for Melissa's and fell in love right away. Sweet, seedless and easy to peel; you can't eat just one!
Prior to the 1900's Pixie tangerines were considered a 'backyard tree'. Not producing until the trees were about 4 years old and then not much until the tree approached almost 8 years old. On top of that they are an alternate bearing crop, meaning you'll have a heavy crop one year followed by a light crop the next. Not exactly a great commercial citrus crop.
Two Ojai growers began planting commercial quantities of Pixie tangerine trees in the early 1980's and by the mid 1990's other local growers decided to join in and created the Ojai Pixie Growers Association. Citrus, especially tangerines, is a crop that is super sensitive to microclimates, the Pixie found a special home in the Ojai valley and produced the sweetest, seedless tangerine around.
Melissa's Produce in Los Angeles was the first and is the largest national distributor of Ojai Pixie's. Melissa's is also the largest distributor of specialty produce in the United States and discovered the Pixie's on one of their journeys searching for local grown produce. Pixie's can be ordered directly from their website, www.melissas.com, and you'll find a myriad of recipes that have been created in Melissa's Test Kitchen. Pixie tangerines are usually in season from sometime in March through April or May.
Here's a cool spring time treat!
Pixie Tangerine Creamsicle
1 recipe Fruit Sorbet
1 gal. Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups freshly squeezed Pixie Tangerine juice*
1/4 cup Champagne, Grand Marnier, Amaretto or other liqueur, optional
Place sugar into a saucepan over low heat and cover with just enough juice to saturate the sugar. Stir just until sugar is dissolve.
Remove from heat and stir it into the remaining juice. Stir in the liqueur if using.
*Other juices may be substituted
Makes 1 qt.
Sorbet recipe adapted from David Lebovitz
Slightly soften the vanilla ice cream. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and spread the ice cream into the bottom of the pan, pushing it into the corners.
Spread the chilled sorbet on top of the ice cream, fold the plastic wrap down over the sorbet and chill for at least 6 hrs.
Lift the plastic wrap out of the loaf pan.
Scoop out the sorbet and ice cream for a swirled effect or slice into serving pieces.