Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cantaloupe Sorbet

If you ask me--and I'm sure you would, given the opportunity--the best thing about summer is not freedom from school or warm lazy evenings or even (gasp!) the Red Sox.

It's fruit.

Everywhere blooming, growing, weighing down bushes, sagging on vines, bursting with sweetness, ripening too quickly, then disappearing before you have the chance to get sick of it. Because David and I have been working hard at eating as locally as possible, and because we live just south of the North Pole, our fruit season is short. But don't pity us. We are extravagant (hence the bounty of cantaloupe recipes you've been/will be seeing). It is my personal goal to overindulge on every fruit in its season, so I can live without until it comes again.

I recently invested in a copy of Lindsey Shere's Chez Panisse Desserts, a brilliant but simple approach to enjoying the sweeter part of your meal in line with the seasons. Shere has a lovely way of bringing out the essence of whatever she's highlighting, not drowning it in cream cheese icing or pounds of cocoa powder. It is in this book that she includes a "sherbet" recipe for almost every fruit--and almost every recipe is identical.

Fruit + sugar = sorbet.
Cantaloupe Sorbet
(serves 3-4 but freezes nicely; start to finish 3 hours; requires food processor or blender)

1 medium cantaloupe
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vodka or other liquor of your choice (optional)
  1. Peel, seed, and cut cantaloupe into large chunks. Place in food processor or blender with sugar and liquor and process until smooth and sugar has dissolved. Place in ice cream maker and churn or pour into container and place in freezer, stirring every 30 minutes until frozen through.
Note: after a day or two in the freezer, this sorbet will firm up. A few days later, if it's still lingering, be sure to let it sit out for 10-ish minutes (or give it 20 seconds in the microwave) and stir well before consuming.

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