These elegant floats are an adult version of a childhood favorite, and just the thing to serve for dessert on New Year’s Eve. They start with a refreshing homemade blood orange sorbet, which is topped with fresh orange segments, a generous splash of chilled prosecco and a dollop of Cointreau flavored whipped cream. If you’re short on time (or energy), you can use store-bought blood orange sorbet – Ciao Bella makes an excellent one, and it’s widely available at supermarkets. As for serving, I suggest scooping the sorbet into the serving glasses earlier in the day; then you can bring all the components to the table and assemble the floats à la minute, to minimize melting. Happy New Year to you all from the Pastry at Home team!
Makes 4 servings
Blood Orange Sorbet:
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (118 grams) filtered water
- 1 ½ cups (362 grams) freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons (23 grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup (116 grams) heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- 1 ½ tablespoons (11 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 blood oranges
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 cups (473 ml) well chilled prosecco
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped unsalted pistachios
Make the sorbet:
- In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring just until the sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.
- In a bowl, combine the sugar syrup, orange juice and lemon juice. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours (or preferably overnight).
- Process the base in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the sorbet to a covered container and freeze until ready to serve.
Make the whipped cream:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, vanilla and Cointreau at high speed until soft mounds just begin to form. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Beat at high speed until firm peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the desserts (the cream will hold for 24 hours).
Prepare the orange segments:
- Using a chefs’ knife, slice the top and bottom off of one of the blood oranges. Stand it upright on a cutting board and starting at the top and working your way to the bottom, cut the peel and pith off with the knife, curving the knife with the shape of the orange. Continue all around the fruit until all the rind and pith is removed. Use a paring knife to slice along the membrane to remove each segment of the orange. Repeat with the other orange and put all the segments in a small bowl. Squeeze any remaining juice from the orange membranes over the segments, then sprinkle with the sugar and toss well to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to do the final assembly.
Assemble the desserts:
- Place 4 stemless wine glasses in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
- Place 2 scoops of the sorbet in each of the wine glasses (this can be done earlier in the day – just cover the glasses with plastic wrap before putting the glasses in the freezer).
- When ready to serve the desserts, place a few orange segments on top of the sorbet in each glass. Open the prosecco and pour 1/3 to ½ cup of it into each glass. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of pistachios. Serve immediately.