Maybe I Should Have Waited till February

What’s that? You’re telling me that it’s 15 degrees and snowing?

Shut up! I can still make ice cream if I want to!

You might have noticed that I have this obsession. I don’t think a week has gone by in over a year when I didn’t make some kind of frozen dessert. Sorbet, ice cream, semifreddo; I’ve made them all. And I just haven’t stopped. In fact, I have so many ideas that I can’t believe that I’ll ever stop, simply because then the ideas would weigh on my mind.

Tonight we made blood orange sherbet. (I don’t really care for the word ‘sherbet’, but what we made was definitely in between ice cream and sorbet, thus: sherbet). I’ve been waiting for blood oranges to hit the stores since November, when I saw the Bon Appetit magazine recipe for cranberry-blood orange-ginger relish. The first glimpse of them was last Sunday, when I fell upon the display and carried four enormous specimens back to my lair.

<cough>

Kitchen.

But anyway. I hadn’t planned to use them in a frozen dessert, but the relish recipe only called for one blood orange, and as delicious as it was, I didn’t want to make it four times over. Instead, in an impromptu cupboard raid, I made them into sherbet.

I stripped the zest from all three remaining oranges, then supremed each one. I put the zest and juice from all three, and the flesh from two into my food processor and blended them into a puree, along with a can of light coconut milk. (Impromptu=lack of dairy products in the fridge). I sweetened it just a tiny bit–these blood oranges were sweeter than any others I’ve ever had–added the flesh of the last orange, chopped up into small squares, and then poured the mixture into a tupperware container. I chilled it for, as it turns out, 48 hours (Monday night was busier than expected), and then froze it my indefatigable ice cream maker.

It was, as expected, pretty divine. Every year I forget that blood oranges taste different than regular oranges, and every year I’m surprised by their mellow sweetness. The churned consistency of the sherbet was light, completely lacking in ice crystals, and actually fluffy. I can think of no good comparisons to other textures–one might say that it was almost like substantial, solid cotton candy. It was also, to continue the cotton candy comparison, bright pink. (Unlike cotton candy, however, it was not tooth-achingly sweet and flavorless).

The blood orange flavor was also astonishingly bright and pure, even though there was a can–nearly two cups–of coconut milk involved. There was no coconut flavor to speak of, but I’m sure it contributed to the texture. Unlike many ice creams that I make, I have no desire to eat the remainder with a sauce or a mix in: I want to experience this flavor and this texture over again, just as it is.

There are four more servings in the freezer, and I can’t wait to eat them. It’s supposed to be 7 degrees tomorrow? Shhhh.

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Published in: on January 16, 2008 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment  

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