A couple weeks ago, my friends Ben and Elizabeth moved to a new house, the fifth place that they've lived in the six or so years that I've known them. As part of moving this time, they decided to clear out a whole bunch of stuff and sell everything from Elizabeth's mother's storage unit in a giant moving sale, and I helped by buying their ice cream maker.
I already own an ice cream maker, but it's the kind where you have to pack in ice and rock salt, and it's messy and hard to use, and really only good in the summer months when you can run it on the porch, out of sight and out of mind. Elizabeth and Ben's was one of those kind with the detachable bowl that you put in the freezer, so for $5 I decided it was worth a shot. When I got home, I carefully unpacked the box, read the recipe booklet, and noticed that the instructions were missing. The pictures on the box were pretty good at showing how to assemble it, and I had the recipes, but I had no idea how long to leave the mixes in the machine for.
Fortunately, googling the make and model number produced dozens of YouTube videos of people using it, so I could guess.
"God, people will take video of anything to post on the web," I thought, shaking my head, as I set my camera down on the counter so that I could take pictures of my results and post them on the web.
The recipes in the booklet seemed kind of complicated, with a lot of pre-cooking and straining and pushing ingredients through sieves, but the one for three-citrus sorbet seemed relatively simple. I'm not a big fan of ice cream anyway, but I love sorbet, so the other day I picked up some orange juice, mint, and grapefruit juice (I always have lemon juice in case I need to make hummus), mixed them all together with honey, chilled the mixture in the refrigerator overnight, and gave the machine a whirl.
It's not terrible, but I'm not 100% in love with the flavor. It's a little too acidic (shocking, I know, given the three juices that went into it) and the texture is a little icy rather than smooth. I recognized the potential for better, though, so I drank all the orange juice and did some web research. After wading through a lot of recipes that were as annoyingly complicated as the ones in the book, I ran across this blog entry on how to make sorbet out of any kind of juice in your refrigerator. This seemed simple enough, and appeared to have worked multiple times, so I decided to head back out to the grocery store for some other juice besides the leftover grapefruit juice.
Since the recipe calls for a cup of sugar, I decided that I didn't want to get diabetes, and opted to spend a little extra for the juices that don't have high fructose corn syrup.
And then I made White Grape Juice Sorbet:
It's really sweet, with a tart undertone, and a little zing from the grape. It's so delicious.
Loading that into the freezer, I decided to try some Grapefruit Sorbet after I refroze the bowl:
and that turned out delicious, too. The simple syrup sweetens the grapefruit juice enough so that it stops tasting like soil, so it comes out kind of like a sour candy.
Packing that away into the freezer (thank God I have so much Gladware), I refroze the bowl again, and tonight created Cranberry Juice Sorbet:
I've gotten the best results so far by processing it to that consistency, then packing it in Gladware and letting it hard-freeze for a few more hours in the freezer.
Which is now full of four kinds of sorbet.
I guess we know what's for dessert for the next couple of weeks.