frozen dessert

Cherry and Almond Sorbet

Cherry and Almond Sorbet

I love all sorts of sorbets. I make them all year long, but I seem to make more when summer arrives. The basic recipe is simple –  just pureed fruit, some sweetener and usually, some flavoring or herb, to add interest. They are so light and refreshing. The perfect dessert for summer.

So far I have make sorbet from pineapples, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries (with red grapes), peaches, cranberries and coconut. I am sure I have forgotten some of them.

I picked up fresh cherries at the market, so I could make cherry sorbet.

Fresh cherries are one of my favorite fruits of all time. I love both sweet and sour cherries. For the sorbet, I just pitted a pound of cherries, added sugar and some lemon juice. It needed a little something more- so I added almond extract. Really worked well with the cherries.

So here is the recipe. Simple and sweet.

Cherry Almond Sorbet

1 lb. cherries, pitted

3/4 c. sugar, or to taste*

3 T. lemon juice – it helps the cherries retain their color

1 t. almond extract

Place cherries in blender or food processor, with the sugar and extract. Blend until smooth. Adjust sweetener to suit your taste. Place in a container with a lid and freeze. Once mixture is frozen, remove from the freezer, break into chunks and place in food processor. Process until mixture looks creamy and smooth. You might have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor. Eat or return to freezer until ready to use. Makes just over a quart of sorbet.

*Feel free to use other sweeteners you like in place of the sugar. Honey or maple syrup would both work nicely.

Blueberry and Red Grape Sorbet

Blueberry-Red Grape Sorbet

Sometimes accidents are a good thing. I was planning on making a sorbet from frozen blueberries. I had already made a strawberry sorbet and a coconut sorbet. I wanted something “blue” for a red, white and blue dessert.

I grabbed a few containers of  blueberries out of the freezer and put them on the counter to soften for a few minutes. Well, instead of three containers of blueberries I had grabbed one of blueberries and two of red grapes.

I decided to use them together. It really worked out well, because the grapes added a lot of natural sweetness to the blueberries. I added a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the fruit, but in hindsight, I think the sorbet would be sweet enough without any added sugar. I also added a little fresh mint. It really is a light, refreshing dessert. I only wish I had more. With company over the weekend, and hot weather, it is sure to go fast.

 

Blueberry-Red Grape Sorbet

4 c. red grapes, fresh or frozen

2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen

sugar to taste- I used a couple of tablespoons

a few sprigs of fresh mint, optional

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. You might have to do this in a couple of batches. Place in a container and freeze until solid. Remove from freezer and allow to soften for about 20 minutes, or even a little less. Mixture should still be frozen, but soft enough to break into chunks. Place in processor and mix again. Mixture will get smoother and softer. You can also do this step in a stand mixer or even with a hand mixer. Return sorbet to freezer, until ready to eat it.

Coconut Chocolate Bowls

Coconut Chocolate Bowls

Now this is fun. Coconut almond sorbet served in chocolate bowls. The idea is to make the dessert look like coconuts. It worked out well and tasted great.

The whole dessert is dairy free and vegan as well. Great for people who have issues with dairy. You won’t miss the dairy in this recipe. The sorbet is smooth and creamy.

These are fun to serve for summer parties. You can make everything ahead of time, assemble and keep in the freezer until you want them.

The bowls are made by dipping inflated balloons in melted chocolate. Then you coat them is desiccated coconut to cover the chocolate. Desiccated coconut is dry and unsweetened. It looks like white bread crumbs. You can find it at Asian markets (it is the type of coconut used for coconut shrimp) . It is also found at cake decorating and candy making stores.

Let the bowls set- in fridge or freezer- until the chocolate hardens. Then you just pop the balloons and remove them. You are left with a chocolate bowl. Fill the bowls with the sorbet- you could use vanilla ice cream. I suppose, but the coconut sorbet really is better in this dish.

You can serve them as is- or top with some fresh fruit or chocolate sauce.

So here are the directions for the bowls and the recipe for the sorbet.

 

Chocolate “Coconut” Bowls

 

8 Balloons- blown up to 4-inch diameter

12 oz. Chocolate – I used bittersweet. Chocolate chips would work, too

about 1 cup of desiccated coconut- cake and candy making stores sell it- Asian markets, too.

Coconut Almond Sorbet- recipe follows

 

Blow up balloons and tie the ends. Melt chocolate and stir until smooth. I melt mine in a microwave, being careful not to let the chocolate burn. Allow chocolate to cool down a bit before dipping the balloons. This is really important: if the chocolate is too hot the balloons will explode before the chocolate hardens. Also, don’t get really cheap water balloons- they pop easy. I normally melt my chocolate and then add some unmelted chocolate to the bowl, which cools it down. Place some of the desiccated coconut in a shallow bowl. Dip the bottom of the bowl in the chocolate. Use a small rubber spatula to remove excess chocolate from the bottom. It is supposed to become a bowl, so leave some on the bottom, just not a huge blob. Tip the balloon and sprinkle the coconut all over the chocolate. You can set the balloon in the coconut, too. Set balloons on a small tray, lined with wax paper to set up. This is faster in the fridge or freezer. Once the chocolate is hard- pop the balloon and be sure to remove any of the left over pieces of balloon. Keep bowls in the fridge until ready to fill with sorbet. Makes 8.

When ready to fill them- scoop in some of the sorbet and smooth the top. You can do this ahead of time and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

 

Coconut Almond Sorbet

 

1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk

1½ c. almond milk

¼ c. sugar- or to taste

2 t. vanilla

 

Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Place in an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 1 quart.

 

Note: If you don’t have an ice cream machine, you can freeze the sorbet in a shallow tray. Once frozen, remove from freezer and let it soften a few minutes. Break into chunks and process in a food processor to soften. Return to freezer until ready to use.

 

Cherry Almond Sorbet

Cherry Almond Sorbet

This summer, I have been obsessed with making sorbets. The basic recipe is simple –  just pureed fruit, some sweetener and usually, some flavoring or herb, to add interest. They are so light and refreshing. The perfect dessert for summer.

So far I have make sorbet from pineapples, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries (with red grapes), peaches, cranberries and coconut. I am sure I have forgotten some of them.

I picked up fresh cherries at the market, so I could make cherry sorbet.

Fresh cherries are one of my favorite fruits of all time. I love both sweet and sour cherries. For the sorbet, I just pitted a pound of cherries, added sugar and some lemon juice. It needed a little something more- so I added almond extract. Really worked well with the cherries.

So here is the recipe. Simple and sweet.

Cherry Almond Sorbet

1 lb. cherries, pitted

3/4 c. sugar, or to taste*

3 T. lemon juice – it helps the cherries retain their color

1 t. almond extract

Place cherries in blender or food processor, with the sugar and extract. Blend until smooth. Adjust sweetener to suit your taste. Place in a container with a lid and freeze. Once mixture is frozen, remove from the freezer, break into chunks and place in food processor. Process until mixture looks creamy and smooth. You might have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor. Eat or return to freezer until ready to use. Makes just over a quart of sorbet.

*Feel free to use other sweeteners you like in place of the sugar. Honey or maple syrup would both work nicely.

Homemade Peach Vanilla Ice Cream

Homemade Peach Vanilla Ice Cream

I love peaches. For me, peaches always mean summer. We had a couple of peach trees at my parent’s house. I remember a few summers when my Father had to prop up the branches because there were so many peaches. He knew the ripe fruit could break branches under their weight.

It is too early for local peaches around here, but I found some southern peaches at a produce market recently. They were nearly ripe already, so I put the peaches in a brown paper bag to help them finish ripening.

A few days later, I had a bunch of super tasty, juicy peaches.

Since it was unseasonably warm last week, I decided to use some of the peaches to make ice cream. It doesn’t have to be hot for me to want ice cream- I just want it even more when the thermometer is hitting 90!!

 

I added some vanilla and orange zest for some extra flavor- plus plenty of peaches.

 

Homemade Peach Vanilla Ice Cream

3-4 ripe peaches

2 c. half and half

1 c. sugar, or to taste

1 T. vanilla

1 T.  orange zest

Peel and dice peaches. Cook in a small amount of water and a little sugar until tender. If you don’t precook the peaches they will be icy and hard in the ice cream. Cool and drain. In bowl combine half and half and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Place in ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s directions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker place mixture in a shallow pan and freeze solid. Remove from freezer and allow to soften a little at room temperature then break up into chunks and place in a mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer until smooth and return to freezer. Makes 1 quart.

Ice Cream Cake Roll

Ice Cream Cake Roll

Ice Cream Cake Roll

I was looking for a seasonal dessert for dinner with friends. Since the weather has been getting warmer I decided to make a cake roll and fill it with ice cream.  I used homemade strawberry ice cream, recipe follows. You could use store bought ice cream, if you prefer. Start with the sponge cake roll recipe below and use whatever flavor ice cream you like. You’ll need about a quart of ice cream- or a little more.

Sponge Cake Roll

This sponge cake roll can be filled with whipped cream or ice cream, or use your favorite filling.
5 eggs, separated
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup cake flour*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons melted butter
Beat egg yolks until thicken and lemon colored; gradually add 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar, the lemon juice and the lemon zest. Beat egg whites until almost stiff then gradually beat in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold yolk mixture into whites. Sift dry ingredients into a separate container; add to egg mixture, folding in carefully. Fold in melted butter. Pour batter into waxed paper-lined 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Turn onto a clean kitchen towel which has been generously dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Trim edges, if necessary; roll cake up, towel and all, while still warm. Let cool completely. Unroll and fill with whipped cream or ice cream then re-roll cake. The trick is to let the ice cream soften up a few minutes before spreading it on the cake. But don’t wait too long. Rather than trying to let the ice cream get soft enough to spread I used a spatula to sort of cut slices of ice cream and place them on the cake.  Store ice cream cake roll in freezer until ready to slice and serve.

*If you don’t have cake flour you can make your own. Measure out a cup of all purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace them with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. For larger amounts place 7 cups of flour in a bowl and combine with 1 cup of cornstarch. Mix well or even sift together. Store in an airtight container.

Roll up cake in a towel while still warm.

Roll up cake in a towel while still warm

Spread softened ice cream over cake and re-roll.

Spread softened ice cream over cake and re-roll.

Keep in freezer until ready to slice and serve

Keep in freezer until ready to slice and serve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Ice Cream

2 c. chopped strawberries

1 c. sugar

1 T. vanilla

2 c. cream or  half and half or a combination. You can also use some milk or even almond or rice milk.

Additional sugar to taste

Place strawberries, vanilla  and sugar in saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and chill. Combine chilled berry mixture with cream. Add additional sugar if you like. Remember that once it is frozen the ice cream will not taste as sweet so make this mixture a little sweeter than you want the final product to be. How much sugar you add varies with personal taste and how sweet the berries are. Place in an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Once finished put in an sir- tight container and place in freezer. Makes about 1 quart.