Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ice cream month! (Um...make that year)

Summer! Only a couple of weeks in and I've already harvested my first few tomatoes, lost power in a summer storm, had freshly churned pistachio ice cream turn into kulfi in said power outage, and become really lazy about turning the oven on. I'm happy to scarf down vast quantities of summer fruit in lieu of dessert.
The one thing I'm diligent about is making frozen treats, though. In the picture you see two that turned out really well, and are also delicious together. The chocolate ice cream is from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, and boy is it a perfect scoop. Lush and intensely chocolaty thanks to a custard base enriched with both cocoa powder and a generous dose of good dark chocolate, this is an ice cream of which even a single small scoop leaves you happy and sated.

Why stop with one though? Add a rosy scoop of strawberry sorbet, bright and fresh with the flavors of summer, and you have a winning combination. I bought the most beautiful berries at the market, tiny, jewel-like and bursting with flavor. Of course, I bought so many that I needed something to do with them, since berries go moldy pretty quickly. And sorbet is so easy to make, no recipe needed. Just macerate the fruit with sugar until juicy, puree, strain to remove skin/seeds, add lemon juice to taste, chill, spin et voila! A guilt-free treat. 

Recipe: Strawberry sorbet (Makes about 3/4 quart)

2 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
Lemon juice to taste
1t kirsch, tequila, Grand Marnier or any spirit of choice (optional)
Honey or agave nectar to taste (if needed)
Toss the strawberries with the sugar and let stand till juicy. Mine were so tiny I just halved them, but if they are bigger you may want to slice them to make sure the fruit macerates evenly. Puree in a blender or food processor, and strain to remove the seeds. You can leave the seeds in if you like but they interfere with the texture. Add a dash of lemon, the spirit if using, and more sweetener (honey/ agave nectar) if the mixture is not sweet enough for you. Chill for a couple of hours, then spin in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
The same method can be used for any fruit sorbet, just vary the quantity of sweetener based on how sweet the fruit is.