Sorbet in the Summer Time

I admit it, I’m a certified sorbet freak.  Rarely does a week go by in the summer when I don’t make at least one batch of sorbet.  Give me ten minutes at the farmer’s market and I’ll find the fixings for a week’s worth of deliciousness. And sorbets are healthy too…diary-free, fat-free, low in sodium, low in carbs, low in calories.

Ices, as our grandparents knew then, certainly aren’t new. Toss the mixture in a lasagna, and into the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so, run a fork through the mix to break it up. In a few hours, you have an ice-cold rustic dessert.

You can do that, or you can get yourself an ice cream machine. Major department stores carry them, starting around $25. Buy yourself a good one. I have a Krups I bought years ago for about $60. Incredibly reliable, few moving parts, cleans up fast, and like most Krups products, lasts forever (major Krups fan here).

I’m planning a menu for a fancy 5 course dinner for ten, one that features big, bold flavors.  The menu needs a palate cleanser and this one’s perfect.

Lemon-Ginger Sorbet 

Serves 6

2C water

1/2C sugar

2 lemons, zest of one, juice of both

3T fresh ginger root, chopped fine

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a rip roarin’ boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Add zest, lemon juice and ginger, and return to boil; hold for one minute. Take off heat, transfer to a small metal bowl, float in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and water. Stir now and then to encourage rapid chilling.  When fully chilled, pass the mixture through a strainer to remove the ginger, then prepare in your ice cream machine…in mine, it’s about 30 minutes.

What you get is a sorbet that’s close to soft-serve ice cream in texture, clean, fresh, sparkling on the tongue, bright with lemon essence without the citrus edge, underscored with the slightly heavier tones of ginger.  To maximize the impact of this dish, it will be served as a single bite.

Option:  When you add the lemon and ginger, add a 3″ rosemary sprig and let steep for 3 minutes only. The result is a hint, a ghost of rosemary flavor that  hangs back on the palate at the entrance to the nasal passage, clearly present but difficult to identify.

 Recipe: an adaptation of a basic sorbet recipe

Photography courtesy of me.

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All rights reserved, 2011.

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