During summer, I fall more and more in love with the bounty of fruit that ripens at the farmer’s market. Everything from dark cherries to juicy watermelon, from syrupy peaches to tart plums.
Normally I love a raw piece of fruit on a hot, sticky day, but lately I’ve been experimenting with sorbet! First it was lychee mint, then pluot lemon, and finally apricot ginger – my favorite, hands-down. (God bless my roommate who has an ice cream maker.) Making sorbet this way adds a honey simple syrup to boost the fruit’s sweetness, and spikes the saccharinity with a spice. (I prefer honey to white sugar, which is more intense, and ya know, terrible for you.) Overall, a nice play on dessert, while keeping the fruit’s natural flavor intact.
Before this summer, I never realized how fun and easy it is to make sorbet. It seems to be three main steps: create the honey simple syrup, blend all ingredients together, then freeze. Pluots and apricots (and stone fruit, generally) need a little extra love because their flesh is harder than other fruits (i.e. blueberries, lychee, etc.); I lightly cooked these before combining with the spices. Other than that, pretty darn straight-forward! (I’m getting excited just talking about it.)
A final note on creating sorbet: egg white makes the end product fluffier, but I thought it still tasted great without. The pluot lemon concoction was a little creamier, but I omitted the egg in the apricot ginger trial, and both were equally great. So I leave the decision up to you!
For storing your sweet, homedid treat, mason jars work great. I had a pint-sized ones around, and I love the way they look filled with bright sorbet. The jars are also a fun way to give the dessert as a gift: wrap a short strip of ribbon around the jar’s lid, and you’re gold.
Hope you enjoy! Feel free to ask any questions, y’all. If in the end the steps seem a bit complex, just slice into a thick piece of watermelon and call it a day.
Apricot Ginger Sorbet
1. Half and pit apricots, and mince or grate the ginger. Bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add the fruit, ginger, and honey to the boiling water, and cook at a simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Remove the mixture from heat and let cool. Pour in a blender, and add in the vanilla extract. Process until smooth. Take a tiny taste, and add more honey to your liking (by the 1/2 tsp). Process again.
3. Freeze according to your ice cream maker. When frosty and delicious, serve in ramekins with chopped candied ginger for topping. Enjoy!
Pluot Lemon Sorbet
1.In a medium-sized pot, boil 5 cups of water. Add in the pluots, then cover and boil for 30 seconds. Relocate the fruits to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. When cool enough to touch, remove the crinkly skins, slice in half, and discard the pits.
2. In a small pan, heat the sugar and water to medium-high, until honey is dissolved. Add in the lemon juice and zest, then set aside to cool. (It’s best to let it completely cool – you don’t want to cook the egg white in the next step!)
3. Add the simple syrup mix, pluots, and egg white to a blender. Combine until smooth, and add honey to taste. Blend again, then freeze according to your ice cream maker. Enjoy!