After not feeling good this weekend, I figured what better way to relax than lay in bed and catch up on my blog. For some reason, I was under the impression that I only had a couple of applications to catch up on… but I was wrong. Very, very wrong. While I had made my last application (Serious Vanilla Ice Cream) over the summer, this next one was made shortly after that… which means, well… I made it almost a year ago. …And now that I’m blushing from embarrassment, let’s quickly move on…
I have to admit, if someone said, “What is your favorite snack?” I would fight back the desire to answer, “Ice.” It’s true. I love eating ice — any type of ice (and yes there are types) — cubed ice (the one I’m less fond of) to crushed ice (very enjoyable) to the little pellet ice served only at some restaurants (and my absolute faaavorite). I understand; this is weird. Who’s favorite snack is ice? It’s not filling. It’s not even tasty. But I love eating it. As a little girl, my mom would save the ice shavings in the ice bin for me. Yuuum. And I’ll tell you, I’ll eat ice until my mouth is frozen… so much so that my tongue can barely move and I slur words… and that is when I have almost reached my ice-eating-100%-content stage. Now for most normal people, I would describe that content feeling as being stuffed after eating too much at a Thanksgiving dinner. …Sadly, I read somewhere that a symptom of anemia is eating ice… Hum. Never have figured that out, but rest assured, I got tested years ago and I am anemia-free. Why go off on a tangent about ice though? Because this application is Key Lime Sorbet.
First, let’s chat about sorbetes. A sorbet is flavored water… or, since it’s frozen, I like to imagine it as flavored ice. Alton says sorbetes are harder to make than ice cream because there’s no milk fat (since we have no dairy) to soften the texture. Instead, sorbetes make up for the dairy by using sugar… a lot of sugar… almost half a bag. The other interesting ingredient — preserves (again)… but this time I suggest it. He says alcohol acts as an ice crystal minimizer… but instead of using alcohol, he substitutes key lime preserves because it acts the same way as alcohol. Plus, I would think adding preserves would give the sorbet a more distinct key lime flavor.
Since we’re talking about the key lime preserves, I want to give a word of advice to the reader who’s ready to rush to the grocery store — like I did. You won’t find it. I must have gone to every grocery store in and around the area… without luck. I got so frustrated, I started calling grocery stores (and PS-Who calls grocery stores?!). As it turns out, even the fancy-smacy Whole Foods, which prides itself on carrying every item… mainly those off the beaten track (Sidenote: They have swordfish as a regular item for God’s sake)… they did not have a simple bottle of key lime preserves. In the end, with sullen spirits, shrunken shoulders and a noticeable frown, I ventured to the grocery store with James to pick up dinner… and in short, the bread isle is where James literally almost walked into a stand of lime curd (more on the curd part later). Apparently, it was a specialty item for the store (which was Martin’s — they deserve a shout out here)… or thinking about it now, maybe they really had it all along, but no one could freaking find it in the bread isle. Now, I understand preserves go on bread, but seriously?! The bread isle?! It goes in the jam isle. Anyone can attest to that.
Regardless, Dickinson’s made my “gourmet fruit curd.” At first, I was leery — Alton specifically calls for preserves… and he’s normally good about giving different wordings for other accepted items. So, I researched. The Dickinson’s bottle says, “Use this versatile indulgence as a refreshing spread to replace preserves.” (Even their website — that I just attached to — the tab says “Dickinson’s Gourmet Preserves.”)
I also learned that curd is a tart, creamy item made from butter, eggs, sugar and fruit. Other ways to use curd besides sorbetes: They suggest folding it into whipped cream for dip on fruit or ladyfingers; using it as a glaze for berries; embellishing tarts, cakes and cookies with it as fillings and toppings. Sounds amazingly delicious, huh?
Back to the sorbet. Beyond using all the curd, the application calls for lime-flavored club soda, a lime and lemon, zested and juiced… all of which contribute to this sorbet being packed with that genuine lime-tangy-flavor. I also want to thank Alton because while he said ice cream was easier than sorbet, he made this sorbet a breeze. In fact, there are only four steps — The first being adding half the ingredients into a saucepan.
After that, the mixture boils until everything is dissolved… and then you add the lemon and lime, zest and juice. By the way, I love anything zested. If you’ve never zested a fruit, test the zest. The flavor is magnified beyond what I’m able to describe. The smell, the taste — It’s like taking that fruit, eating it whole — peel and all — and experiencing every bit of flavor it is able to give. Not only that, but zest adds a beautiful and natural simplicity to any dish.
Once the dissolving’s done, it was a waiting game again. The liquid has to freeze for a few hours… but after that, it’s time to churn!
One problem I had with the sorbet was that my ice cream machine never seemed to make the liquid into a “slush”, as Alton writes. The picture above is as slushy as my “slush” got. I even doubled the time the liquid was in the ice cream machine… Still, nothing. Thinking about it now, Alton did say the sugar reduces ice crystals. Maybe I was waiting for ice crystals to form… so I suppose the fact that they never did and it remained a liquid is good…? Either way, after I churned and froze the liquid, it was one delicious sorbet. I mentioned in my last post how Trista and Nick enjoyed the ice cream… well they loved this sorbet. In fact, James and I had one small bowl, and they devoured the rest. Tris mainly loved the sorbet and ate it like it was her favorite candy.