Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cool summer memories and a simple delicious sorbet

When I was little, my mom had a real gourmet ice cream maker. It hadits own refrigerating element, so no cranking or rolling or salted needed! This was back in the dark ages when NO ONE had an ice cream maker that froze on its own. There was no Williams Sonoms at the mall where you could conveniently find any kitchen gadget you wanted. the internet did not yet exist. 
This thing was a hideous shade of yellow and weighed 1000 pounds. My father would complain every summer when he lugged it from its winter spot in the basement to the cleared off spot on the counter that would be its summer home.

Little me called my mom a gourmet, making things that no other mother would attempt. Weird concoctions that no one had ever heard of made a regular appearance in our kitchen. She often had strange mushrooms soaking on the counter that I would poke at, a disgusted look on my face. My favorite "gourmet" treat of my mothers was the most coveted treat of summer... Grapefruit sorbet. This sweet, tart, and overall delightful dessert was a favorite of the whole family including all of the grandparents. Like so many other things that were a family favorite, my mom would always make a big deal about it, enlisting me to squeeze the pink juicy grapefruits, and letting me drink the extra juice. When she turned the ice cream maker on we would all flee from the horrible racket. She was fond of telling us  "That thing could wake the dead." It was so loud that it would often drive my father and I out of the house; him for chores, me for pool time or playing in the yard. When the sorbet was ready, it was scooped out slowly and with reverence into one of our seldom used Tupperware containers. We each got a spoonful but had to wait for a bowl until it had solidified (cleverly on my moms part that was often after dinner). My mom seldom wasted her homemade sorbet on  burgers or porkchops. So, sorbet often accompanied what my mom would call a "summer outside meal." Which translated to something too messy to eat in her pristine kitchen. In our world that meant tacos or lobster. The delight of the special dinner was heightened by the anticipation of the sorbet cooling in the freezer. The first bite is like a burst of flavor hitting your tongue. To this day I'm always shocked at how good this simple recipe is. It is by far my favorite frozen treat. 

Grapefruit sorbet
2 cups fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 cup simple syrup 

For the simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water in a sauce pan. Heat on low until the sugar has dissolved. 
Cool the simple syrup in the fridge for several hours or overnight. 
If you don't start with refrigerated grapefruit squeeze the grapefruit and let cool in fridge for several hours or overnight. 
Combine the simple syrup and grapefruit juice in the container of a  self freezing ice cream maker. Set for approx 40 minutes (though they're all different so check on it periodically and add more time if needed)
Scoop sorbet into container and let set in freezer for 2 hours. That is the sweet spot and the perfect time to eat it. It will keep in the freezer for a few weeks but when you're finished with it take a piece of wax paper and push it down on the top of the sorbet. This will help keep it from freezer burning. 

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