My latest obsession is America’s Test Kitchen. The TV series, the books, the website, I simply cannot get enough of it. Which is kind of odd, because until recently I was…. how should I put it… a bit “cold” about Christopher Kimball. The convoluted nature of their recipes used to irritated me, as they go on and on about every single variable tested in their kitchen until the elusive best recipe is found.  But our friend Steve (my certified saffron-provider) recommended the show, and knowing him, I had to give it a try. Long story short, I am slightly addicted.  The recipes always work, which is saying a lot. Chances are that for many recipes you will dirty every single pot you own, but…  you won’t be disappointed. First one I tried: raspberry sorbet. Their goal was to come up with a sorbet with excellent texture, just the right amount of sweetness, and one that would not freeze rock solid.  The recipe is a bit involved (what else is new, ATK?), but once I tried my first spoonful, I was in raspberry bliss… And you can be there too!

Raspberry Sorbet ATK

Recipe Overview:  To keep the formation of ice crystals to a minimum, their trick is making the sorbet base and dividing it in two unequal parts.  A small amount of the base is placed in the freezer, and later churned together with the very cold liquid part reserved in the fridge.  A little bit of no-sugar pectin is also added to improve texture.  The result is mind-blowing good!

For the full recipe, please visit this link at America’s Test Kitchen.  You might have to register with the site to see their recipes, but it is a small price to pay for the opportunity to surf through their huge collection.


VitamixIsn’t the color of the raspberry mixture intoxicatingly beautiful? And matching the color of our Vitamix was a happy coincidence…

composite1This recipe forced me to do something that a couple of years ago I said “never ever again for as long as I live“. Oh, well.  I can change my mind as easily as I change my nail polish. I said before but it’s worth repeating: pushing raspberry puree through a sieve is not for sissies.

The base divided in two portions, one ready for the freezer…

last bit
Great to the last spoonful….


ONE YEAR AGO: Crispy Cornmeal Sweet Potato Fries

TWO YEARS AGO: Pan-grilled Tilapia with Smoked Paprika & Avocado Cream

THREE YEARS AGO: Golden Saffron and Fennel Loaf

FOUR YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, July 2011

FIVE YEARS AGO: Heavenly Homemade Fromage Blanc

SIX YEARS AGOA Perfect Sunday Dinner


Last week a colleague from our new department in KSU stopped by my office and asked if I liked raspberries.  No need to think much about the answer! It turns out that he is an amazing gardener, and a very active member of the Manhattan Community Garden, a project that started in 1974 and never stopped growing. Small plots of land are rented to whoever wants to grow fruits or vegetables. The city provides the water, tools, and a lot of advice. You can read more about it here. Maybe one day Phil and I can join and become better gardeners… 😉

Back to berries. A few hours later, our colleague comes back with a big box of raspberries, still warm from the sun!  I know, I know, everyone should be so lucky!  I wanted to put them to good use, so I made a delicious raspberry sorbet. Phil and I bravely fought over the last spoonful a few evenings later.   😉

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

4 to 5 cups raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries (optional, see comments)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Make a simple syrup by heating the sugar with the water in a saucepan (or microwave) until the sugar is fully dissolved.  Allow it to cool, no need to refrigerate.

Place the raspberries  in the bowl of a food processor  and process until very smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice.  Pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer and strain the mixture, pressing down  and scraping the inside of the strainer with a silicone spatula.  You will need a little more than 2 cups of smooth puree.  If you don’t have enough, you can use blueberries to bring the volume up.

Whisk the simple syrup and the lemon juice into the raspberry purée. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.  Pour the mixture in your ice cream maker and process it according to the instructions of your machine.  Once the sorbet is ready, place it in a container and freeze for a few hours before serving.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  Making the puree of raspberries is very easy using a food processor, but I went through three sizes of strainers to find the one that allowed me to separate the seeds from the pulp without too much grievance. It is not a pleasant job, but it ensures a smooth sorbet, so Keep Calm and Carry On. I added a little bit of blueberries (simply processed, no need to strain them), to make a volume of puree that would work in my ice cream maker, but if you have enough raspberry pulp, you can get by without any other fruit.   Add 3/4 of the simple syrup to begin with, once you have the base all ready, taste it and decide if you need more.   Raspberries have different degrees of tartness, and if you add other berries (strawberries could work well too) you will need less sugar.  I cannot think of a better way to close the season…

ONE YEAR AGO: When three is better than two

TWO YEARS AGO: Grating Tomatoes (and loving it!)

THREE YEARS AGO: A Peachy Salad for a Sunny Day