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07/12/2012

~ Just What the Doctor Ordered: Kiwi-Lime Sorbet ~

PICT0010I'm not sick or anything, just a bit overwhelmed.  Here in Happy Valley, when the 4th of July festivities come to a close, there is precious little time to relax.  Yesterday, people started pouring into State College for the annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  In preparation for Arts Fest, many local residents arrange to take vacation, leaving town for exotic destinations.  For those of us locals who stay:  we "grocery up", making sure that all shopping is done well in advance (as traveling is not as quick and easy as we are accustomed to, and, parking anywhere is a veritable nightmare).  It's also not unusual for us to get unexpected guests (old friends, acquaintences and or alumni who are back in town just for "The Fest"), so it's in our best interest to buy a few extra items like chicken breasts, a rack or two of ribs, and a 12-pack or two of our favorite beverages, just in case the doorbell rings!

6a0120a8551282970b015433bda8e2970c-320wiA bit about the CPFA:  This five-day, carnivalesque event lasts from Wednesday thru Sunday and attracts over 125,000 to our town. It encompasses almost all of the downtown shopping district, zig-zagging through streets, alleys and large portions of Penn State's main campus.  Besides meandering through the streets gazing at endless booths of arts and crafts, visitors can relax, eat and drink from a large selection of street food booths too.  There's something for everybody at "The Fest"!

PICT0006When I say, "just what the doctor ordered", having just come off the 4th of July weekend (and more blueberries from Joe's garden than I could almost handle), and, The Fest weekend ahead of me (and a tree full of peaches just about ready to pick), I want to relax and post something deliciously easy today... just, plain, easy!

PICT0008A few days ago I posted my recipe for ~ Blueberry-Kiwi-Watermelon Salad on Baby Greens w/White Balsamic Vinaigrette ~ (found in Categories 2, 4, 8, 10 or 14). Yesterday, I prepared it again for my Kitchen Encounter's 28th WHVL-TV cooking segment, which airs Sunday mornings at 11:30 on their Centre of It All Show (ch. 14)!

PICT0013As a result of the shoot, I have a few of those "brown 'n fuzzy on the outside", "green 'n tart on the inside", cute little kiwi fruit leftover in my refrigerator.  I love kiwi (which FYI, are technically a berry) and I can't think of anything more fun to do today than to mix up one of my favorite Summer desserts: Kiwi-lime sorbet.  On a side note, my husband is currently trying to grow these in our backyard, so, I figured I better start practicing my kiwi recipes now! Besides kiwi and limes, you'll need: 

Simple Syrup:  They don't call it "simple" for nothing!

PICT0002If you're not a bartender or pastry chef, you might never have heard of it. I profess to being neither, but, I do dabble enough in both cocktail making and baking to keep a bottle of this very useful mixture in my refrigerator most of the time!  

A bit about simple syrup:  Appropriately named, it is simply a mixture of sugar and water in various ratios (thin, 1:3; medium 1:2; thick 1:1), cooked just long enough to dissolve the sugar and make a very clear, light syrup.  What is does is:  guarantee that you'll never have the graininess found in imperfectly dissolved sugar mixtures.  When making frozen desserts, they will freeze faster, without forming any ice crystals, if the ingredients are all kept cold, so, I recommend making the syrup several hours or a day in advance of making this sorbet.  Kept on hand in the refrigerator, it has an endless shelf life too!

PICT0002~ Step 1. To make 3 cups of simple syrup, in a 3-quart, saucier or saucepan, place:

2  cups water

2 cups sugar

~ Step 2.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.  Adjust heat to a steady simmer and cook for 30-60 seconds.  Remove from heat, cool, transfer to a 1-quart measuring container and refrigerate several hours or overnight.  Store unused syrup in refrigerator.

It's time to make the sorbet!

"Sorbet" (sor-BAY) is the French word for "sherbet".  Italians call it "sorbetto".  Sorbet differs from ice cream or gelato in that it never contains milk or other dairy products.  Sherbet, on the other hand, sometimes does contain milk, egg whites or gelatin.  Culinarily, sorbet is thinner than sherbet, and not as granular as ices or granitas, but, nowadays, not too many people split hairs over these details.  The beautiful, silky texture of a sorbet is at its best when freshly made and still soft.  It should never be rock hard and should always be free of ice crystals. Sorbet is either served in a small amounts (2-3 teaspoons), as a palate cleanser/refresher between courses at a meal, or, in a larger quantity, as a light dessert! 

PICT0007About 15-16 years ago I invested in a rather expensive, Italian-made, Simac gelato machine, bought several cookbooks dedicated to frozen desserts and even took a class about it.  This is a very substantial piece of equipment that has its own freezing mechanism. Once I prepare my ingredients, in about an hour, it does everything short of scooping it out for me.  I won't lie, I love this machine and it has a place of honor on my kitchen counter.  I can, however, state, that is all about the recipe, not the machine, so whatever device you are using, just follow the manufacturer's instructions and proceed with my recipe!

PICT0012For the sorbet:

1  pound peeled and coarsely chopped kiwi, chilled (depending on their size, this will be 6-7 kiwi)

juice from 2 large limes

1  cup simple syrup, chilled

PICT0022~ Step 1. Place kiwi in work bowl of food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Squeeze in the lime juice.

PICT0029 PICT0026~ Step 2. With motor running, puree kiwi, about 30-45 seconds.

~ Step 3.  With motor running, add the simple simple syrup through the feed tube, in a slow thin stream, and process about 10 seconds.

PICT0036Note:  You will have 3 cups of sorbet base. This mixture can be covered and refrigerated several hours prior to making the sorbet.  How convenient is that!

PICT0041~ Step 4.  From here on out, follow the directions that came with your ice cream maker.  Because my ice cream maker has a built-in freezing system, I am simply transferring all of the sorbet base to the work bowl of my ice cream maker.

~ Step 5.  I'll turn the machine on and let it churn/freeze for about 1 hour.  Voila: 

PICT0006Just What the Doctor Ordered:  Kiwi-Lime Sorbet:  Recipe yields 3 cups simple syrup and 1 quart sorbet.

PICT0019Special Equipment List:  3-quart saucier; large spoon; 1-quart measuring container w/tight fitting lid, or, a bottle or jar;  cutting board; paring knife; food processor; ice cream maker; ice cream scoop

Cook's Note:  You can find my recipe for ~ Sweet Heat: Strawberry & Guajillo Chile Ice Cream + Strawberry & Guajillo Chile Sauce!  Cha-Cha-Cha! ~, in Categories 6, 13, 20 or 22!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012) 

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