A Partridge in a Pear (Cider Sorbet) Tree

I spent this weekend cursing up a storm working on my last paper of the semester. Let’s just say that I saved the worst for last. The paper was daunting and tedious, and the only way that I was going to get it done was by telling myself that I would get a reward at the end. That reward was sorbet.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve had cider sorbet on the mind. I found a recipe on The Kitchn and was going to follow it exactly, until Mike snagged some of this pear cinnamon cider from Trader Joe’s.

As I said I would last time, I decreased the sugar in this recipe from 2/3 cup to 1/2 cup. Add 1 1/2 cups of cider to the sugar, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 10-15 minutes. I just popped the thing in the microwave for 10 minutes.

Then whisk in another 3/4 cup cider and 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened applesauce

2 T of our old friend tequila

2 T triple sec. I’m starting to think these two are the new power couple

Stir together until ingredients are incorporated. Cover and refrigerate overnight. I know, this is the hardest part. If I hadn’t heated the cider and the sugar I probably wouldn’t have refrigerated it.

I waited about 24 hours, but that’s just because that’s how long it took me to write this stupid paper.

Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze for 20-25 minutes

Warning: you will have an intense urge to dip your spoon into the machine 15 minutes in. This is common, and is best remedied by succumbing to said urge.

After 25 minutes, the sorbet should be nice and thick and ready for eating.

Oh man.

This was phenomenal.  I know that I said the mango sorbet was great, and it was, but if I could only eat one sorbet for a year, it would be this. Mike said that there were 3 layers of flavor. At first, you get a taste of the applesauce, then the pear and cinnamon, and lastly, an aftertaste of tequila. Seriously unbelievable. I didn’t add any spices because the cider was spiced, but this would be great with some nutmeg, ginger, and maybe cloves.

 

Pear Cinnamon Cider Sorbet

Adapted from The Kitchn

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup pear cinnamon cider

1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup pear cinnamon cider

2 T tequila

2 T triple sec

Stir together cider and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat , stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Whisk in applesauce, cider, tequila, and triple sec. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Freeze as directed in the instructions for your particular ice cream maker.

 

Make this sorbet. Right now. What are you waiting for?

–Ariel

Scooop There It Is

As promised, here I am with a post featuring my new ice cream maker! I know that many people are confused as to why I’m posting about a frozen dessert in December. With the holiday season upon us, I know that there are many delicious recipes circulating the internet for flaky pies, decadent cakes, crumbly cookies, and mouth-watering candies. All of those are well and good, but to be honest, they don’t tickle my fancy the way that ice cream does. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much of a cake person, and while cookies and candy are great, I find that after a few bites, I don’t really want any more. I guess that’s a good thing in some sense, but when I have dessert, I want a decent-sized portion.

Enter: ice cream/sorbet/sherbet/gelato/granita. I don’t think I will ever get sick of frozen desserts. Well, I might get sick from them, but I will never get sick of them. See, I have a slight lactose intolerance, so I tend to stick to sorbet, but every once in a while, I eat ice cream anyway. It’s not so bad, I just get a stomach ache and then get extremely bloated and gassy. It’s probably worse for those around me than it is for me. TMI?

I kept going back and forth between recipes, as I wanted the first ice cream maker trial to be a good one. Anything seasonal is a win in my book, so I was considering apple cider sorbet. Just as I was about to grab my keys to go to the store, I spied 2 mangoes sitting in the fruit basket. Keeping with my resourceful motto to “use what you have,” I decided that I would make sorbet that required no trip to the supermarket. A quick search online led me to David Lebovitz’s recipe for mango sorbet.

I scanned over the recipe, and realized that I didn’t have any rum and had just used my last lime in a black bean stew. So what did I do? I improvised, of course! I went to the freezer, and grabbed a bottle of tequila that has been there for far too long (shows how much of a party animal I am). Seeing the tequila reminded me that I had a bottle of triple sec in the back of the fridge, which would stand in for the lime juice.

Seems like I’m making a margarita rather than sorbet right? Well trust me on this, because you will not be disappointed.

Add the fruit of 2 mangoes, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup water, 4 tsps triple sec, 1 T tequila, and a sprinkle of salt to your blender. Blend on the lowest setting at first, then increase the speed to ensure that there are no chunks of fruit left.

See? Nice and smooth. At this point, the recipe said that you should chill your mixture for an hour or so. Since I wanted instant gratification, I skipped this step. Whoops?

When your ice cream maker is all assembled, turn it on, and pour the mixture into the bowl.

It will look liquidy and delicious. Since I was so excited, I checked on it every 5 minutes. If you’re not as excitable as I am, you can check on it after 20 minutes.

This is the sorbet after 25 minutes. Does it look delightful?

The consistency is a cross between sorbet and soft-serve. I had to resist all urges to grab a big spoon and dig right in.

I took the classy broad approach and scooped the sorbet into a bowl. Don’t worry, I licked the ice cream scoop when I was done.

This sorbet was so so good. A slight aftertaste of tequila and triple sec led me to calling it Mango-rita Sorbet. I will absolutely make this again, maybe with a little less sugar as it was a touch too sweet for me, and mayhaps add some lime zest?

Mango Sorbet

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients
2 Large, Ripe Mangoes (2 lbs, 1 kg), peeled and pitted
2/3 Cup (130 g) Sugar
2/3 Cup (160 ml) Water
4 tsp Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, plus more to taste (or triple sec)
1 Tbsp Dark Rum, plus more to taste (or tequila)
Pinch of Salt

Method

Cut the mangoes into chunks and put them in a blender with the sugar, water, lime juice, rum, and salt.

Puree the mixture until smooth. Taste, then add more lime juice or rum if desired. Allow the mixture to chill thoroughly, then freeze it in an ice cream maker.

 

Do any of you wonderful readers have a dessert that you never get sick of? Do you enjoy frozen treats even in the dead of winter? E-mail us at apositiveregard (at) gmail (dot) come!

 

–Ariel

Midweek Ramblings

Pro and con time:

PRO: I finally get to write up everything that I’ve been wanting to over the past few days!

CON: I had to take a half day from work because I’m a coughing sneezing mucus-y mess. Did I mention that my voice is so nasal I sound like The Nanny?

Onto the ramblings! Marissa came to visit me this weekend and there was much galavanting around! We had every intention of going thrifting on Saturday, but the majority of the reviews we read online said that the stores smelled like mildew and cats. Since mildew and cats aren’t some of our favorite scents, we opted to go to the outlets instead.

After walking around the outlets for hoouuursss, Marissa suggested that we travel along in search of good farm stands. It was a beautiful day so it was fitting to find some delicious fresh produce.

I believe we stopped at 3 farm stands, and all of them were great. Just check out the butternut squash Marissa is holding! There was a plethora of squash and zucchini of all varieties, enormous heads of cauliflower and broccoli, and apples for miles. I ended up bringing home a few of my favorite apples, winesapps, and they were a pound each!

And check out those turnips! I kind of wanted to get some but I’ve never cooked turnips before. I don’t think I can even remember the last time I ate one. I think some recipe research is necessary before I splurge.

One of the farm stands also had peacocks. I don’t think I’ve written about my immense love for peacocks, but believe me when I say that I LOVE them.

Lots of walking and not a lot of eating left us famished. We made a quick stop at Whole Foods to pick up a schmorgasboard of food and to look for ingredients to make dessert. You see, when Marissa first got to my apartment on Friday night, she put the bowl to her ice cream maker in the freezer.

I found a recipe for chocolate sorbet here, but we of course made it our own. We used 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate with chili, omitted the vanilla extract, and added about 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon.

The process of chocolate sorbet isn’t wildly photogenic. Oh, and we’re easily amused

Oh, you want to see the sorbet anyway? Well okay, if you insist.

Photogenic? No. Delicious? You better believe it. Words cannot describe how good the sorbet turned out. It tasted like a dark, rich brownie batter. The spice from the cinnamon and chili wasn’t apparent at first, but after you let the sorbet melt on your tongue, you were left with a tingling of heat. We didn’t eat the sorbet by itself either.

We paired it with my newest obsession. The people at Edy’s are bringing their A game with this flavor. Not only does it have fewer calories and fat than regular ice cream, the flavor is beyond good (I know I sound like a spokesperson, but I am in no way affiliated with Edy’s- I just eat copious amounts of their ice cream).

The dense chocolate and the mellow pumpkin paired perfectly together. I imagine that any variety of infused chocolate would work well in the sorbet recipe, or you could substitute in any flavor extract that tickles your fancy. If you wanted to make it completely fat free, you could also experiment with just using cocoa powder, although I would recommend a high quality powder.

Ok lovelies, I am off to use the best invention ever, the neti pot. As always, we would love to hear your imput and feedback!

apositiveregard (at) gmail (dot) com

–Ariel