A DUET OF SORBETS

Now that Fall is upon us, I need to get these sorbets out before it’s too late. Although of course, I have always my wonderful friends from Brazil and Down Under to consider, the lucky ones who are starting their beautiful march towards SUMMER!  The first sorbet is for those who appreciate the bite of citric fruits, and prefer desserts that are not overly sweet.  The second is a lot more mellow, but it has a secret ingredient to shake things up. Don’t knock it until you try it. Trust me!

lime-sorbet

TRIPLE CITRUS SORBET
(inspired by Cook’s Illustrated)

1 cup granulated sugar (1 + 1/4 cup if you prefer)
1 teaspoons grated lime zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 + 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh citrus juice
(1 lime, 2 lemons, fresh orange juice to 1/2 cup)
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon Cointreau (or vodka) 

Pulse the sugar, zest, and salt together in a food processor until well combined. With the machine running, pour the remaining ingredients through the feed tube and continue to process until the sugar is dissolved.   Strain the mixture into a large bowl and refrigerate for a few hours.
Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream machine and churn, following the manufacturer’s instructions, until the mixture resembles soft-serve ice cream. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and freeze until firm.
ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

This was absolutely delicious! If you have a particularly heavy meal, maybe a bit high on fat content (think ribs, maybe?) this sorbet is going to be perfect. The original recipe called for 1 + 1/4 cups of sugar, but I added less and felt it was enough for our taste, as we tend to dislike excessive sugar in desserts. Try the base before churning, and adjust. Make sure to process any additional sugar until it is fully dissolved. I always add some alcohol to our sorbets because it improves texture in the freezer. It is not mandatory for flavor, you can omit it.

cantaloupe-sorbet

CANTALOUPE-CAYENNE SORBET
(adapted from Food Videos)

1 + 1/2 pounds peeled, seeded cantaloupe  (about 4 + 1/2 cups, packed)
1/2 cup white sugar (100 g)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons vodka
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon if you dare!)

Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.  Place in the fridge to cool completely for at least 4 hours.

Give a stir with a spoon, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and process it according to the instructions of your machine.

Freeze and enjoy!

to print the recipe click here

Comments: I made the sorbet with only 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and thought it was perfect. However, the moment I mentioned to Phil there was a secret ingredient in it and divulged its identity, he suggested  we (we, got it?) should make another batch without it. He likes the pure flavor of the fruit to shine through. So that was that. A second batch was prepared (and I must admit we did it together) the following weekend without the cayenne and the vinegar for a side-by-side single-blind experiment. He liked the version without cayenne better. Me? I loved the peppery one. It gives just a nice background heat, that I thought complemented the fruit quite well. If you like the combination of sweet and savory, grab your bottle of cayenne and churn away…

triple-citrus-cantaloupe-sorbets-from-bewitching-kitchen

ONE YEAR AGO: Sobering Peach Sorbet

TWO YEARS AGO: Spiralizer Fun

THREE YEARS AGO: Beer-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Secret Recipe Club: Corn Chowda

FIVE YEARS AGO: Page-A-Day Calendar (Pits and Chief 5 minutes of fame…)

SIX YEARS AGO: Home Sweet Home (our beloved Pits in one of his last photos)

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Marbled Rye

SOBERING PEACH SORBET

I don’t quite know how to soften the blow, so here it goes: this post brings  you my last sorbet of the year.  I know, it is cruel and devastating. The bleak reality is that we must wrap our minds around stews, soups, and braises. Maybe a chocolate bread pudding, or a batch of brownies topped with caramel sauce. But the clock is ticking for sorbets, so here is my contribution to sweeten up that brief period of bliss known as “Indian Summer.”

Peach Sorbet

PEACH SORBET
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

4 to 5 peaches, peeled and cut in small chunks (two very full cups)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 medium banana, very ripe
3 Tablespoons orange Curaçao

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender.  Process at full speed until completely smooth, making sure no large pieces of banana are present.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight.

Transfer the sorbet mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in the freezer.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Sorbets are such simple desserts, since no cooking is involved. I like to include a banana in our sorbets because it improves texture and it also makes the sorbet slightly more substantial. You could leave it out. The same is true for the orange Curaçao, but unless you have something against using alcohol in your cooking, go for it. It won’t taste alcoholic at all, but it will boost the orange flavor.

I like this type of sweet served without any adornment, but the resident sorbet expert thinks that a small square of semi-sweet chocolate never hurts.  I must say he has a point…

LindtPlus
If you’re headed to winter misery like we are, make a batch of this sorbet as soon as possible. Enjoy it as you stare at your fireplace and try to figure out how many days you have before turning that thing on. If you live in Australia, Brazil, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, please invite me for a 3-month visit… What? Way too long? I beg you to re-consider: for the most part I am very well-behaved, and love doing dishes!

ONE YEAR AGO: Winner of the 1 million page give-away…

TWO YEARS AGO: Just married!

THREE YEARS AGO: Corn Chowda

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Oven-broiled Salmon over Saucy Spinach

FIVE YEARS AGO: Butterscotch Brownies

SIX YEARS AGO: First Soup of the Year

THE ULTIMATE RASPBERRY SORBET

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
THE ULTIMATE RASPBERRY SORBET

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.

doubleBase
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

SOUR CHERRY SORBET: A LABOR OF LOVE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM!

Far away in Brazil, today she celebrates her 91st Birthday!
We are not there for the occasion, but I share a photo taken one year ago.

 PSMomSee you in November…. countdown started!

 On my last In My Kitchen post, I mentioned we got to pick sour cherries from a friend’s tree. It was a first time for me, and I admit that it surprised me how much work was involved. Of course, picking the fruit requires that you climb up a ladder carrying a basket, and spend quite some time in a daze-inducing repetitive activity. Nothing wrong with that, except that all that Zen might make one less careful. It is tempting to stretch the body just a little more to reach that great looking cherry winking at you, maybe a tad too far.  Thankfully, it all had a happy ending, no falls, no broken bones. We went home with a load of fruit ready for the next step: sorting.  The basic goal is to get rid of the cherries that have worms inside. That information was not conveyed to me BEFORE we picked the fruit. I wasn’t thrilled, and made sure my beloved husband got the message loud and clear during our drive home. The thought that I had my hands on stuff potentially hiding slimy creatures was unbearable. Unfortunately, it was too late, I had already been exposed to danger. So how do you sort the cherries? You dump them all in a container with water. The ones that float very likely have worms. The ones that sink to the bottom better be worm-free because next comes pitting. Finding a worm together with the pit would be extremely no bueno. No bueno as the end of me.

IMG_4994(on the left, Apricot-Passion Fruit Sorbet; on the right, Sour Cherry)

SOUR CHERRY SORBET
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

4 cups worm-free, pitted sour cherries
1 ripe banana
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3/4  cup sugar (you can add more)
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons vodka

Add the cherries, and the banana to the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth, cleaning the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Add the lemon juice, the sugar, and the water, and process everything together until fully smooth. Taste and adjust the sugar level, adding more if you like.  Add the vodka, give it a final mix.

Keep the base in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours to cool completely.

Place the mixture in your ice cream maker and churn it according to the instructions of the manufacturer.

Scoop into a freezer-safe container.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

 

PittingAdventure

Comments:  All credit for the sorbets featured in the blog in the past couple of years should go to Phil, even if he fooled me into handling worm-containing fruit. He comes up with all sorts of flavors, each and every one of his concoctions turns out great!  The only fruit he cooks down before churning is apricot, all others go in fresh.  He always includes a ripe banana, and in his latest versions a tablespoon or so of some type of alcohol, usually vodka or rum. They give the sorbet a creamier  consistency when frozen, and you will not taste any alcohol.

Once more I should add that we like our sorbets with very little sugar, you might find that our versions are too tart for your taste. Adjust accordingly, tasting the base before you churn it.

stored
As  you can see, it often takes me a little time to go from making a recipe to blogging about it, but better late than never, I wanted to get this post out before summer is over.  Summer and over is never a good combination. Oh, the pain, the incredible cruelty of what lays ahead for me…  Autumn first, then misery.

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen – September 2013

TWO YEARS AGO: Raspberry Sorbet at Summer’s End

THREE YEARS AGO: When three is better than two 

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

FIVE YEARS AGO: A Peachy Salad for a Sunny Day

APRICOT-RASPBERRY SORBET: A FAREWELL TO SUMMER

Every year I must prepare myself mentally for a cruel fate ahead: the end of the summer. Goodbye shorts and t-shirts, goodbye laying in the sun, goodbye golf (well, that could be a good thing for my fellow players). This year summer took too long to arrive and never got hot enough for my taste. I can only hope that winter will be equally wimpy. But, back to what matters, a recipe to put our ice cream maker to good use before storing it away.  Another production of my beloved husband, this sorbet was quite likely my favorite.

served

APRICOT-RASPBERRY SORBET
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 lb. fresh apricots
1 lb. fresh raspberries
1 cup water
3/4 cups sugar
1 ripe banana, cut in pieces

.
Split the apricots in half, remove the pits, and cut each half into chunks. Combine the apricot and water in a saucepan and cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
.
Place the cooked apricots to the bowl of a food processor, add the raspberries and the banana, then puree the mixture until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of sugar if necessary.  Cover and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
.
Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker.
.
ENJOY!
.

to print the recipe, click here

.
Comments:  I shall hereby nominate my beloved husband the Master Sorbet Maker in our home.  He comes up with one great recipe after another, never afraid to improvise.

You’d think that a kitchen renovation could prevent him from coming up with this type of concoction, but far from that. If you paid attention to my last In My Kitchen post, you may have noticed the ice cream machine sitting at the counter during our chaotic hellnovation.   😉

A final note:  this is a very special blog post for me, as tomorrow we will be flying back home to our new kitchen!  Looking back,  I  can hardly believe I kept the Bewitching Kitchen going through it all…  It was a bit of a challenge, but here I am, almost crossing the finish line.

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Marcela’s Salpicon

TWO YEARS AGO: Pork Kebabs

THREE YEARS AGO: Fondant au Chocolat

FOUR YEARS AGO: Got Spinach? Have a salad!

RASPBERRY SORBET AT SUMMER’S END

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.   😉

RASPBERRY SORBET
(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.

ENJOY!

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

 

WATERMELON SORBET

A few weeks ago I inaugurated my Cuisinart ice cream maker by making chocolate sorbet. Not my best performance, the texture was off, a bit grainy. I guess I didn’t melt the chocolate well enough before chilling the base.  I must try another recipe, as it is Phil’s favorite flavor, but in the meantime I picked his second favorite flavor and went to work. Watermelon sorbet was a lot more forgiving, refreshing and light, perhaps a tad too sweet. Next time I’ll up the lemon juice and reduce the sugar slightly.

WATERMELON SORBET
(from Culinary Philosopher)

1 + 1/4 cup sugar
1+ 1/4 cup water
1 quart cubed watermelon (seedless)
4 Tbs fresh lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer  without stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.. Place in a bowl to cool to room temperature.

Put the watermelon chunks and the lime into a blender or food processor. Pulse about 20 times to chop the melon, then process until the watermelon is completely pureed. Press the watermelon through a mesh strainer,  and combine with the cooled sugar syrup. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Pour the mixture into the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and mix it for 25 to 30 minutes, or according to the instructions on your machine.  The sorbet will have soft serve texture. You can enjoy right away or put the sorbet into an airtight container and place in the freezer until firm for about 2 hours to firm it up.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I am in love with our Cuisinart ice cream maker!  The watermelon mixture seemed VERY liquid to start with,  I wasn’t sure it would ever turn into a sorbet, but the machine kept churning, the crystals started forming, and in a little less than 30 minutes I had a delightful batch of watermelon goodness!  A little liquid stayed at the bottom of the machine, I am not sure if one should open it midway through the churning and scrape the bottom, but it did not compromise the results.

Watermelon is by nature very sweet, so next time I’ll  use 3/4 of the amount of sugar, perhaps even half, and see how it goes.

If you are over the fence about getting an ice cream maker, don’t debate with yourself for 3 years as I did.  Get one while Summer is still smiling at you!  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Under the Spell of Lemongrass

TWO YEARS AGO: Greens + Grapefruit + Shrimp = Great Salad

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine