Lots of orange, red and brown tones in the blog these days…Fall really is coming.
In any event, we are all about saving the flavors or summer. After we pickle, can, jam and preserve there is always the option to make ice cream and / or sorbet. Why is this our last option? We aren’t really sure. Maybe it’s because if the fruit is at its best, we eat it out of hand. Maybe we like making pies. Or maybe we simply start to get lazy….hmmm.
And sometimes we do feel a bit “unmotivated” to make ice cream and sorbet. It even seems like a chore with a lot of gear and cleanup involved. But we know better, making ice cream and sorbet is easier than expected, particularly if you chose the right recipes. For ice cream, Philadelphia-style ice creams (no egg custard) are very simple to make and feature bright flavors. And sorbet is as easy as it gets; fruit, sugar, maybe a touch of booze, blend, freeze, etc. As far as needing special gear and a lot of cleanup…well you’re stuck with that. But at least you get dessert.
In California we still have peaches and nectarines, but the quality and texture start to fade somewhat (except for late-season peaches). Frankly, some of the peaches get a bit mealy, but they are still sweet and tasty. So knowing that the season is almost over, we “motivated” and made peach sorbet. And it’s very tasty, and didn’t really take all that long. The only extra work when dealing with peaches is skinning them, but it’s easy if you blanch the peaches in boiling water for about 30 seconds, the skin will come off easily. The other “extra” task is blending the peaches, but any blender will do here.
The recipe we use is adapted from David Lebovitz, food writer and ice cream / sorbet expert (he knows what he is doing). We only add an optional dash of lemon juice to the recipe, depending on the sweetness of the peaches, which vary widely by variety. The recipe includes ripe peaches, sugar, Cointreau (orange liqueur) and half a lemon. The Cointreau adds flavor, but the alcohol also limits crystallization in the sorbet for better texture. But you can omit the Cointreau if you like. We keep it in….as you might expect. In the end you get a very flavorful and rich sorbet with smooth, slightly dense, texture. The peaches are a real flavor-bomb in sorbet, a little of this stuff goes a long way. If your season is ending, this sorbet will make it last a little longer.
(Adapted from David Lebovitz)
Notes Before You Start:
- If you don’t have Cointreau or orange liqueur, and lightly flavored or neutral alcohol will work. Vodka is fine. Bourbon might add some extra caramel flavor. Just don’t add any more than the recipe suggests. Too much alcohol impedes freezing.
- To peel peaches, blanch them in boiling water for about 30 seconds and then peel. The skins should come of easily, If not, blanche them another 20 seconds.
- If kept tightly sealed with plastic wrap on the surface, the sorbet will keep in the freezer for weeks or months.
What You Get: Very flavorful peach sorbet. Peaches in fall and winter.
What You Need: Making ice cream and sorbet requires special gear. You need an ice-cream maker and a blender. If you don’t, look for Granita recipes, no special gear required.
How Long? Making ice cream and/or sorbet takes at least 6 hours, but mostly that is inactive time chilling the base and hardening the final sorbet. This recipe requires 20-30 minutes of active time. This is a project for weekends or free weekdays.
(Makes about 1 pint of sorbet)
- 1 and 1/2 pounds of ripe peaches, pitted, peeled (see notes) and roughly chopped
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Orange Liqueur
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
- Peel, pit and roughly chop the peaches. Then add the peaches and 1/2 cup of water to a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring the peach mixture to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the peaches from the heat and add the sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to cool.
- Place the cooled peach mixture into a blender and purée until smooth. Then place the peach purée into a container and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours, or until very cold. Taste the purée, if overly sweet (and it will be sweet) add a tablespoon, or so, of lemon juice to balance the flavor.
- When the peach purée is cold, prepare your ice-cream maker. Add the purée to your ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions for sorbet. (Churn until frozen and the texture and color lighten with the introduction of air). When done, put the sorbet into an airtight container and harden in the freezer for at least an hour. Serve.