cherry darjeeling tea lemon sorbet

darjeeling tea cherry lemon sorbet

Cherries make a happy sticky red mess whether you're eating or working with them in the kitchen. The juicier they are, the bigger the mess they make. I know this from first hand experience because I was still finding a few red spots today even though I thought I had done a superb job of cleaning up after myself! I might need one of those hazmat style protection wraps for my kitchen or one big "kitchen bib". But don't let the mess scare you off, this sorbet will make you very happy this summer.

cherries

I added a good dose of dark Indian tea leaves, the Darjeeling kind and infused the woody tea flavors into the sugar syrup before mixing it in with the fresh lemon juice and cherries. Once you make it, you can do what I did, serve it for tea in tea cups. It felt somewhat appropriate.....

cherry halving

Tea really does make everything better but it makes good things even better! 

lemon juice squeezing

Here are some of favorite food links of the week,

cherry darjeeling tea lemon sorbet

cherry darjeeling tea lemon sorbet

yields: 4-6 servings

ingredients

1 cup water
1 cup (7 3/8 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon darjeeling tea leaves
5 3/4 ounces fresh ripe cherries, cleaned, sliced in half with stalks and stones removed
1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1. In a medium sized saucepan bring the water, sugar and tea leaves to a boil on a medium high flame to prepare a simple syrup. Once the liquid reaches a rolling boil, remove from the stove and strain the liquid through a tea strainer and discard the tea leaves. Keep the strained syrup aside until ready to use.
2. Place the cherries and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cherries have formed a smooth puree. You can do this with an immersion blender too, just pulse until the cherries are completely pureed. Strain the puree through a sieve and press the pulp in the strainer with a spoon to squeeze as much fruit pulp as you can out. Save the fruit bits left behind in the strainer (I add them to pancakes or muffins or just eat them raw). With a whisk mix the strained cherry puree into the tea infused simple syrup to prepare the sorbet base.
3. Place the sorbet base into a clean gallon ziplock bag. Seal the bag airtight and place it an ice water bath for 20 minutes to cool completely. 
4. Pour the chilled sorbet base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker. Churn for about 20 minutes or until the sorbet is completely formed, it will acquire a slightly milky pink color. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight freezer safe container and cover with a layer of parchment paper. Press the surface of the paper gently to remove any trapped air bubbles. Freeze for at least 4 to 6 hours to firm completely before serving.

lemon rosemary sorbet

lemon and rosemary sorbet

Necessity and getting rid of left-overs equals sorbets, that's my personal math when it comes to cleaning up lemons in my refrigerator. That's exactly how I feel sometimes, after my last post for the Chia, Honey, Lemon 5 Spice Pound Cake, I had to figure a way out to use up all that fresh lemon juice. An herb infused lemon sorbet was just what I needed this week. Citrus fruits are my pick-me up, get-out-of-your-funk, refresher, source-of-energy, etc and they always cheer me up. And this wintry snow every week (that really needs to go away) has me in a funk.

rosemary

I don't have any luck growing rosemary, beyond the warm weather season here. Every year, I plant some, it does well and then come winter, it dies. This year, I'm tossing the towel in and giving up. Oregano has never been a problem but rosemary just hates me! On a side note, I'm hoping that after three years perhaps, my pomegranate tree/bush/shrub will finally bloom and fruit.

lemon prepping

I've added the rosemary to the sugar syrup to infuse the oils and flavors and then cooled it completely before adding the lemon juice and zest. The reason for this, Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid in lemons is heat-labile, it gets destroyed on heating, so not only does this sorbet pack some Vitamin C but it also tastes and smells fresh with all those wonderful citrus notes. 

lemon rosemary sorbet

lemon rosemary sorbet

yields: 4 servings 

ingredients

1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 medium sized sprigs of rosemary, fresh (about 2-3 tablespoons, I used two 4 inch sprigs)
2 teaspoons lemon zest, fresh
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (if you like it less tart, use 1/2 cup juice instead)

1. Place the sugar, water and rosemary in a medium sized saucepan. Heat the contents until the sugar dissolves completely, then bring to a boil on a medium-high flame and remove from flame. Keep aside until cooled to room temperature. Once cooled, discard the rosemary sprigs and transfer the sugar syrup to a gallon ziplock bag.
2. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the the syrup in the ziplock bag. Seal the bag airtight and place in a ice water bath for 30 minutes. 
3. Pour the liquid into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker. Churn the liquid until the sorbet is frozen and has acquired a creamy white consistency. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight and freezer-safe container and cover the surface with a layer of parchment paper. Freeze the sorbet for at least 4 hours before serving. 

champagne and peach sorbet

Champagne and peach sorbet

Over the past few days, you might have noticed a few changes around here, in terms of design and layouts. I felt that it was time for a change, that represented my growth and sense of style. I finally feel happier with my logo that I spent some time designing, it's not that I wasn't happy with the previous one but I didn't really feel the color scheme or the design too much. The new look really represents what I like in terms of design and styling. I have no professional skills in website design and most of what I know has been acquired through trial and error and perusing the internet. There will be a few more changes in the upcoming weeks, so keep an eye out and I hope that you will like them. I'd love to hear your feedback on the new logo!

Sweet Carolina peaches

Last weekend, I received a message from my friends who were driving back from South Carolina with a big bag of fresh ripe peaches for me, their only request make us something frozen (they got to try the black peppercorn, cardamom, raspberry sauce ice cream and wanted more). This time round, I wanted to do something different, a couple of ideas jumped into my head but for some reason all I could think of were bellinis. It also seemed fitting, since I have spent many a Sunday morning at brunch with them sipping mimosas or bellinis or simply just champagne. 

Fresh peach sorbet

This sorbet is not too sweet and has a light and airy texture which reminds me of the bubbles in champagne, which is something I was aiming for. The basic recipe is based on the sorbet from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jenni Bauer and I've tweaked it around a little. When selecting a champagne for the sorbet, use a good quality brand to give a rich and flavorful taste. 

Sorbet for breakfast

How did the taste test go? Well my friends loved it and had several helpings without my prodding them. So I think it passed the test and I hope you will like it too. I was being a bit goofy at first while styling the sorbet, then when I looked at the photographs, I could not make up my mind as to which one I liked more, the sorbet with the peach or the one without the peach. I uploaded both photographs up here for you to decide, so please do tell me which one you like better and why?

Peachy sorbet

champagne and peach sorbet

yields: 6-8 servings/ ~ 1 quart

ingredients

1 lb peaches, peeled and chopped 
2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup champagne

1. Puree the peaches in a food processor until smooth. 
2. In a thick bottomed saucepan, combine the pureed peaches, lime juice, sugar and corn syrup. Stir continuously on a low flame until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, fold in the champagne. Transfer the liquid into a gallon ziploc bag, seal the bag and chill in a ice-water bath for 20 minutes.
3. Once the sorbet liquid is chilled, pour the sorbet into the pre-frozen canister of the ice-cream maker. Churn for 30 minutes until the sorbet acquires a creamy consistency. Transfer the sorbet into a freezer-safe airtight container. Place a piece of parchment paper on the surface and pack it down to remove any trapped air bubbles. Freeze for at least 4 to 6 hours to firm before serving.

kumquat ginger sorbet

Sorbet

Thank you so much for all the kind birthday wishes, I had a wonderful and fantastic week. The celebrations began early last weekend over brunch with some of my closest friends in the city. Later towards the end of the week, we celebrated for one last time with my friend Tyler's family at a delicious French restaurant in Bethesda called Mon Ami Gabi. The food was great and the company spectacular. What more could one ask for on a special day (week) than to spend some time with people that I care about dearly!

Each year around birthday time, I get myself a special gift, something that I really want but I could do without. This year was no different and I picked myself an ice cream maker that I have had my eye on for a very long time. It was one of those things that I know I certainly didn't have place to store but felt that it might be useful appliance to own. My opinion changed quickly after my first experiment with it, to hell with kitchen space economizing theory, I did indeed need an ice cream maker, its divine delicious abilities made up for any space that was lost! A personal ice cream churner in the kitchen is amazing, it takes away the crazy moments when you keep opening your freezer at different intervals to churn the ice cream and break the ice crystals. It was definitely a worth investment.

Prep Work

When it comes to kumquats, I'm not a big fan of eating them raw, the skin is pleasantly sweet but the flesh is tart and sour which makes my face cringe and pucker, every time I take a bite into these little guys. However, I do enjoy kumquats when they are cooked as preserves or spreads and in desserts, such as this sorbet. The first frozen dessert that I made many, many years ago was a lime sorbet. I didn't have an ice cream maker then and I almost crashed my mom's freezer by opening it every fifteen minutes to break the ice crystals that were forming. Based on this personal history, it only seemed fitting to have a sorbet as the first recipe from my new ice cream maker.

"Kumquatted"

To get rid of some of the harshness of the fruit, I trimmed the tops and bottoms of each kumquat and brought them to boil in water a few times. This also helps to make the skin of the fruit much more tender and easy to puree. I also added in a little bit of crystallized ginger to give the sorbet a little texture and bite. By boiling the ginger in the simple syrup, the ginger flavor mellows down just enough and also imparts a light flavor to the syrup. Once the ginger was infused into the syrup, I let the kumquat puree rest with the syrup, before passing it through a fine meshed sieve. Once the ice cream maker did its thing, the resultant sorbet was delicious, it was creamy, soft, tender and citrusy with little bits of ginger and little strands of orange kumquat zest.

Instead of using plain mint leaves to garnish this sorbet, I used some fresh chocolate-mint leaves that I planted a few weeks ago. This mint variety goes amazingly well with the citrus flavors of the sorbet. The leaves have a light chocolate flavor when you first taste it before the mint kicks in.

Kumquats

kumquat ginger sorbet

yields: 6-8 servings

ingredients


12 ounces/ 340gm kumquats
6 cups water to boil the kumquats
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon ginger root, freshly grated
a few fresh chocolate-mint leaves to garnish

1. Rinse the kumquats under running cold water. Cut each fruit in half and trim and discard the tops and bottoms along with the seeds. Place the trimmed fruit in a medium sized saucepan. Add two cups of water to cover the kumquats completely and bring to a boil on a medium flame. Once the water boils, discard the water and repeat the boiling process twice with the rest of the water.
2. Process the kumquats in a food processor to a smooth puree. 
3. With regular stirring bring the 2 cups of water and sugar to a boil along with the ginger. Remove the syrup from the flame and pass the syrup through a sieve to collect the ginger bits. Keep the ginger aside. 
4. Put the syrup in a glass mixing bowl and keep over an ice water bath. Stir in the kumquat puree and allow to cool to room temperature. This will take about 30-40 minutes. Pass the syrup through a sieve and with a large spoon press the fruit pulp against the sieve to extract as much of the fruit as possible. 
5. Chill the syrup in the freezer for another 45 minutes before adding it into the ice cream maker. Follow the instructions that came with your ice cream maker, they vary a little by brand. Carefully drop the ginger bits, a few at a time during the last five minutes of churning. The sorbet is done when it is frozen and gets a light milky orange-yellow color. Transfer to a clean freezer-proof storage container and freeze for at least another 1 to 2 hours before serving. Serve a scoop or two of the sorbet with fresh chocolate-mint leaves.