A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater: August’s Orange Yogurt Water Ice


Nigel, I think  you’re wonderful and you usually have a way with words, especially when describing food. But “orange yogurt water ice?”  Really?  That name…well, it kind of sucks.  It doesn’t make this refreshing treat sound very good, at all. Just sayin’.

To go with such an unappealing name, I purposely took this unappealing picture! OK, you’re right, I didn’t purposely take this horrible picture.  One of the problems I had with regards to photography was the texture of this water ice (which I’ll get to in a minute). The other…I have no idea what happened. Why is it so grainy? It looks like I took this picture and blew it up times one million. Or like I took it on a Polaroid, only it’s not nearly as cool and nostalgic looking. Did I hit the secret super grainy setting on my camera? Perhaps.

But enough about my shortcomings as a photographer. Let’s talk about other shortcomings. This recipe was the first time I used my KitchenAid ice cream attachment and it was a major FAIL. After 30+ minutes of churning, the mixture came out looking pretty much exactly as it had gone in.  A lot of googling and comments on a cooking board I frequent made me realize that the problem may have been my not freezing the bowl long enough.  I did freeze it for 24 hours, but some said this may not have been enough for a first freeze. I will also admit to not cooling my mixture for terribly long because I was excited to make this and nothing was hot to begin with.  Anyway, after the 30 minutes of useless churning, I ended up just pouring the mixture all into a bowl and sticking it in the freezer. It froze, but it was pretty much impossible to scoop without it falling completely apart or coming in sort of granita-like shavings (and yes, I was too lazy to whisk it every couple hours like you’d do if you didn’t  have an ice cream maker).  Of course, this is sort of a cross between a sorbet and a sherbet (being that it has a little dairy) so it wasn’t going to be as creamy as a custard based ice cream or anything like that.

Thankfully, despite its name, picture, and lack of freezing, this stuff is really good. It’s extremely cool and refreshing and, well, it tastes like oranges. It’s perfect for the summer and it’s relatively healthy, too. I used 2% Greek yogurt, and actually cut the amount of sugar down (the original recipe calls for 1 cup which, for my very sweet & delicious oranges would have been way too much). For some reason Nigel suggests using the zest of two large oranges, but then the juice of 4 medium oranges.  I’m not sure why you wouldn’t juice the orange you just zested. I used naval oranges, which certainly fulfilled the “large” requirement, and only used the juice of 3 (which was easily a cup, they were very juicy). My changes are reflected below.

Orange Yogurt Water Ice

Adapted from Nigel Slater

1.5 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 2 large, unwaxed/unsprayed oranges
juice of 3 large oranges (about 1 cup juice)
juice of 2 lemons
3/4 cup thick, plain yogurt (like Greek-style)

Bring the water and sugar to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, add the orange zest, and set aside to cool.

Mix the orange and lemon juices together. In a large mixing bowl, stir a little of the juice into the yogurt to loosen it.  Whisk in the cooled sugar syrup and the rest of the juice, until mixed thoroughly. Cool the mixture in the fridge for a bit. Pour it into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater: August’s Orange Yogurt Water Ice