Sunday, July 18, 2010

no-ice-cream-maker raspberry sorbet

I like to find ways of jimmy-rigging my way around expertly specified instructions. Why use a hammer and nails when there's duct tape aplenty? Oh. Well. Now that I think about it, I may have gotten this attitude from my father. He's a man who never takes a direct route- because that's what builds character. Living in constant frustration, I mean, builds character. Personally, though, I'd like to think that my "alternative" solutions are ingenious, and save either time or money. I imagine my father also thinks the same thing... but I'm trying to avoid this vortex of introspection I'm starting to open up over here. Anyway! This recipe costs me very little to make, in terms of money, because I do it with inexpensive ingredients and no fancy ice-cream maker. The lack of an ice cream maker, however, makes it somewhat time-intensive, so I recommend making it if you'll be home for most of the day. You know, hiding from that big yellow thing in the sky, wishing you had something cold and delicious in the freezer...

I get my raspberries for free because they grow in my backyard. This is the only reason I can allow myself to take such a huge quantity of them and not shove them directly into my mouth. Not that you should be jealous, since I'm the one who picks them (I'm less delicious to mosquitoes than my mother, so I get the brave the wild), raspberry bushes have many tiny thorns all over them, and while I am not too attractive to insects, I'm not entirely unattractive either.
The raspberries are ripening quickly, and we've got so many that I'm sure there'll be more than one blog entry about raspberry-themed dishes. This one in particular came from the fact that we still have frozen raspberries from last year to deal with, and I figured the best thing to do with frozen berries is keep them frozen in a sorbet. This is one of the earliest recipes I've ever made and it is easy, tasty as all hell, and probably somewhat nutritious. I think. I've been using this recipe for years, and originally got it from an old Cosmo Girl at the library, they credit the recipe to the Ciao Bella Gelato Company. You'll need simple syrup. To make it, combine 2 cups water with 2 cups sugar, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and stir frequently for about 5 minutes before taking it off the heat. Yields 3 cups, and now you, too, will get annoyed when you see pretty glass bottles of it in Trader Joe's. It's a ripoff, people, since it's cheap-as-free in your own home.
Raspberry Sorbet, makes 6 servings:
3 cups simple syrup
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup water
1. Combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth (might need to do this in two batches)
2. Remove seeds by pouring through a strainer or fine mesh sieve. I mix it in the sieve with a wooden spoon so it strains faster
3. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, pour into ice cream maker and follow machine directions*

*If you don't have an ice cream maker, which I don't, pour the mixture into a wide, flat container. Freeze until slushy, stirring it up every 15-30 minutes with a fork so you don't get a 12x12 ice cube (happened once; risking frostbite on your fingers isn't worth it, even for tasty sorbet). When slushy throughout, transfer to a plastic container and allow it to freeze. Enjoy!
(** I wonder whether you can just freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, turn it into slush with your blender, and then freeze it in a container. Try it and tell me. I don't have ice cube trays! Alternatively, freeze it in large freezer bags, laying flat, so its easy to crack into pieces. After cracking, blend in a blender or food processor, and spoon it into a container to allow it to freeze. Jimmy-rigging really works! And you don't have to babysit this one all day.)

Mango Sorbet, makes 6 servings: (This is on the same page as the raspberry sorbet recipe. I've never made this because mangoes go very quickly around here, but I want to)
4 medium-sized mangoes, washed
2 cups simple syrup
3 tbsp lime juice
1 cup water

Directions: peel mangoes, scoop and cut out the flesh, combine all ingredients and puree in a blender, follow directions as above.

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