Tangerine gelo. The mere mention of this dessert evokes a sensation of freshness, citrus scents, and summer nights. Tangerine gelo is a typical recipe of the Sicilian tradition. Whereas its origin has been lost over time it likely has its roots in the Arab-Norman domination, so rich in creativity, pervaded by the scent of oriental spices and citrus fruits. Before the advent of corn starch carob flour was used as a thickening agent.
This tangerine gelo is a very simple and light dessert that uses fresh fruit, offering you the opportunity to create a dessert that is fresh, seasonal, vegan and perfect for avoiding all kinds of food allergies and intolerances. The use of corn starch adds thickness to the gelatine since traditional gelatines do not work with acidic ingredients. Moreover, not only do you avoid using ingredients of animal origin, but you also enjoy the freshness of tangerines. The same basic recipe can easily be turned into other gelatines with other seasonal fresh fruits, like watermelon and melon in summer, or even with cinnamon.
The tangerine is quite sweet, but the addition of lemon adds an acidic note that is offset by the piped decoration. If you are lactose intolerant, substitute the whipping cream with the lactose free variety, or with sugar pearls if you are vegan.

Tangerine gelo Mandarino
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Yield: Makes 6 servings.


  • For the gelatine
  • 45 g (⅓cup) corn starch
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) tangerines, juiced and filtered
  • 1 lemon, juiced and filtered
  • 55 g (¼ cup) white sugar
  • For decorating
  • 125 ml (½ cup) fresh whipping cream
  • 20 g (3½ tbsp) powdered sugar, sifted


Pour all the ingredients except the corn starch in a saucepan and put it on the stove. Simmer over low heat for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the corn starch, sifting it directly into the saucepan and mix thoroughly.
Pour into glass bowls and let them set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
For the decoration, chill a medium mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. In the chilled bowl, whisk the whipping cream until it begins to foam and thicken. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Do not over-whip. Pour into a pastry bag and decorate the top of the gelatine.

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About the Author

Growing up in Emilia Romagna, a region known for Parmesan, Parma ham, lasagna, and filled pasta, a great deal of my childhood was spent in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother.

Even at a very young age, I could see that for them cooking was a passionate expression of their love for their family. While I’m filled with many warm memories of watching them cook, what I remember most is circling the table and watching the stove, waiting for any opportunity I could to steal a taste.