Friday, September 3, 2010

Frozen Treats

     Tonight we are joining friends for a dinner out. Here is an easy and delicious dessert idea for the holiday weekend ahead. 

     This summer I replaced our broken ice cream maker after more than a dozen years of faithful service.This past spring I opened its storage cabinet to find the liquid that is supposed to freeze within the unit had escaped containment and dripped like primordial ooze all over the shelves.

     With summer on the way and a season full of backyard parties and get togethers ahead of us, I knew we would need to replace this treat making workhorse as soon as possible. 
      After scanning several reviews I picked out a Cuisinart unit which I brought home as the new addition to our kitchen gadget family. I unpacked it like a kid at Christmas, always thrilled and ready to play with a new kitchen toy. I immediately began planning all the tasty treats I’d make and mused over which flavors I would bring to which parties. 

     After waiting the obligatory 24 hours for the unit to freeze I prepared my first grapefruit lemon mint sorbet. I wondered why we ever bought sorbet when this marvelous machine could produce delicious refreshing treats in less time than it would take to drive to the store. 

     I infused the simple syrup with mint from my own garden and felt a great deal of satisfaction in growing one of the ingredients myself. My sorbet has no chemicals and I can pronounce all of the ingredients. We don’t need super sized bowls full of dessert to be satisfied. Two small scoops in a martini class is more than enough to savor the flavor and feel as if we have been pampered. 

     The next night I created a mango lime sorbet that turned out beautifully. I continued to make many more frozen treats in the weeks that followed including ginger lemon, basil mint lime and  even chamomile tangerine sorbet. I believe our family favorite has become Raspberry lemon sorbet simply pureed frozen raspberries,strained added to lemon infused simple syrup and frozen What a joy it is to remember the simple pleasures of cool treats.
     I simply heat 2-4 cups of water on the stove
Add lemon and or lime peel
Add sugar to taste which creates an infused simple syrup
(I tend to infuse lemon juice,lime juice, mint, ginger or even basil in the syrup. It depends on what flavor I'm trying)
I cool the mixture then place in fridge or freezer to get it cold.
I add it to the machine and in very little time I have a frozen treat for a fraction of
what I find in the stores.
      If you want to try this and don't have a machine make a grantia. Just use a pan about 8x8x2. Place in freezer and scrape mixture with a fork about every 15 minutes or so till you achieve the look and taste of a shave ice or a slushy. 

     This summer was an incredibly hot one and it was wonderful to be able to enjoy these treats in the evening after a long hot day.

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