Anyone who knows J, knows of his weekness for frozen confections. He has a particular allegiance for ice cream and other dairy treats, but he does not discriminate against popsicles, ices, slurpees, sherbets, granitas, and sorbets. The boy likes his frozen sweet treats. Who am I to deny him?
As a belated anniversary gift, I - no J acting through me - ordered the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid. I had envisioned making batch after batch of ice cream for J and frozen yogurt for me. When faced with an over abundance of both strawberries and cherries on the verge of becoming overripe earlier this month, I decided my maiden voyage into the world of frozen desserts would be to the land of sorbet.
Some initial research through my cookbook collection and some favorite food blogs on the Internet taught me that a good fruit sorbet needs only a few basic ingredients: pureed fruit, sugar, a bit of acid, and some alcohol to keep the mixture from freezing solid. With some basic proportions in mind, I headed into the kitchen and began the Super Sorbet Spree of 2009.
All super-ripe-fruit-without-a-dedicated-use in my kitchen gets pureed with sugar, lemon or lime juice, sugar, a pinch of kosher salt (I don't make a sweet dish without salt), and a shot of something from my liquor cabinet. Before the fruit can go bad, I turn it into something delicious. The resulting mix gets chilled down until my ice cream maker is cold enough to turn it into a lovely small-crystal frozen taste sensation. Thirty minutes of mixing and I've got a soft sorbet, perfect for margaritas or daiquiris on the spot. A few hours in the freezer after the mix up and we've got honest to goodness sorbet.
With all of the fruit in the house, I've been making up lots and lots of sorbet mix lately: strawberry margarita, cherry, cherry-lime, more strawberry, more cherry, and watermelon caipirinha, Because the ice cream maker needs fifteen hours to freeze properly, I really only have time to make one batch of sorbet each day. To get the fruit out of the fridge and into the freezer, we've developed our Sorbet-A-Day routine, which involves freezing off a batch of sorbet each morning while I prepare breakfast. It goes a little something like this. I get inittial breakfast prep work done (chopping, slicing, toasting, etc...). During a break in the action, I grab the sorbet mix out of the fridge, taste it for final flavor and texture tweaks and J grabs the ice cream maker bowl out of the freezer and sets it up on the KitchenAid. We pour the mix in, I set the timer, and J occasionally monitors the sorbet-in-progress while I return to my breakfast preparations. Usually, the sorbet is just finishing up its spinning dance as we are finishing up our last bites of huevos rancheros or eggs en cocotte. Perfect timing! We spoon most of the sorbet into a freezer jar and stash it in the freezer, sample the left overs, and clean up the ice cream maker while doing the breakfast dishes. We're always sure to the the ice cream maker bowl back in the freezer to chill down for tomorrow's sorbet.
We're excited for a lot of the stone fruit to come into season so that we can try nectarine and plum and pluot sorbets. Of course, full-blown melon season will be a treat too. I'm a bit hesitant about apples and pumpkins in the fall, but you know I'm going to try it.. It's nice to freeze a bit of summer sweetness into a sorbet to enjoy when there's no fresh fruit in season later in the year.