The 4th of July has come and gone once again in Chicago, but it seems that the heat is sticking around (quite literally, in fact). Mark and I hosted back-to-back BBQs over the holiday weekend, and with temps spiking into the 90s even at the lakefront, my goal was to plan both menus without the use of the stove…and I’m proud to say that I did it (not that I wasn’t sweating anyway, as I sliced, chopped and tossed veggies together).
My Beloved has now dubbed me the SlawMasterTM after my feats of slaw wizardry, whipping up no less than 4 different batches of slaw – a 3lb Bok Choy from the farm share will do that to you…but more on slaw later.
When the heat is beating you, my advice is to get out the ice cream maker and start churning. The bowl to our churn has a standing space in the freezer so that I can throw together a frozen confection anytime the mood strikes – which is often in summer berry season.
I tested the sour cherry sorbet out on some friends a couple of weeks ago, serving it with a healthy dollop of softly whipped cream, and even the nearly-four-year-old heartily approved of the sorbet, so I figured it was a winner. The sorbet dances on your tongue – the tart cherries giving you a pleasing little zing in the back of your jaw, without giving you a full on pucker. It tastes of fresh cherries with just a hint of vanilla – it’s a pure distillation of mid-summer.
I knew I’d be feeding a crowd this weekend, so I consulted my personal ice cream guru, David Lebovitz, for a second sorbet to pair with the cherry. David never fails me. This chocolate sorbet is dark and complex – very adult, without being heavy or cloyingly sweet and trust me – David’s chocolate sorbet is the perfect partner for sour cherries.
What’s your favorite frozen confection to take the edge off the summer heat? Share in the comments below…
Sour Cherry Sorbet
4 cups pitted sour cherries & their juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 T gran marnier or brandy (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until mostly smooth. Chill thoroughly, then churn in your ice cream maker. It’s good to make this one a day before you plan to serve it – cherries have a lot of natural pectin, so it needs an overnight rest in the freezer for the sorbet to firm up so that it’s scoopable, rather than plop-able.
- UPDATE: Add a tablespoon or two of good quality aged balsamic to the base to add another layer of delicious mystery!
98 cal per 1/2 cup, 0 fat, 100mg potassium, 25g carb, 22g sugar
Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet
from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop
3/4 cup good-quality dutched cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 oz vegan dark chocolate chips
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 T coffee extract (optional)
2/3 cup fresh raspberries, frozen and broken into small pieces
- In a 1.5 qt pan, heat 1 1/2 cups of the water, the cocoa powder, sugar and salt, whisking often. Bring to a boil and whisk while it boils for 45 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips, whisking to incorporate. Add the remaining 3/4 cup water and vanilla, then chill thoroughly. Churn in your ice cream maker. After about 20 min of churning when the sorbet is nearly done, add the pieces of frozen raspberry. Store the finished sorbet in the freezer for a couple hours before serving so it will firm up a bit.
212 cal per 1/2 cup, 50cal from fat, 6g fat, 30mg sodium, 140mg potassium, 43g carbs, 5g fiber, 36g sugar, 3g protein