Monday, June 20, 2011

Rhubarb Ginger Sorbet

 I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.  
--Julia Child


My latest organic box delivery included a large, beautiful bunch of Rhubarb. The fuchsia/orange/red hue  and bright, fruity scent called to me. I was thinking a lovely fruit crumble/crisp might be in order, so I washed and dried the stalks, cut off any unsavory ends, peeled any pieces that seemed a bit tough, then chopped into manageable pieces. (Note: you don't need to peel all of the stalks as the strings usually disintegrate upon cooking.)

I added 1/3 cup of water, a few pieces of candied ginger, 1 TBS of lemon juice and the Rhubarb to a large pot and brought to a simmer. I wanted the rhubarb to be slightly tender when I baked it in the crisp.  

However, I got distracted and ended up with something closer to applesauce in texture. Ugh.  The flavor was amazing though: tart and spicy, with a hint of sweetness.  I wanted to stand there and eat the sauce just like that. But, the pale pink color didn't seem too appetizing and I couldn't visualize how to serve it. Chilled Rhubarb soup? I wasn't sure Chris would go for that...

I decided to turn the sauce/puree into a sorbet instead.  So, I made a simple syrup using equal parts water and sugar, and added a heaping spoonful of glucose to the mixture (to keep the sorbet from becoming "icy" in texture). I simmered it until the sugar dissolved and let it cool.  In the meantime, I strained the Rhubarb mixture through my trusty chinois until I had about 2 cups.  (Chris suggested that the liquid might be great in a cocktail. Now you're talking!)

I stirred the now room temperature syrup and fruit together until I met a bit of resistance with a wooden spoon. I wanted to make sure the sorbet wasn't too sweet, so I added the syrup a bit at a time, and actually, did not end up using all of it.

I poured this mixture into my ice cream maker and 24 hours later, we have a wonderfully refreshing dessert...or a frozen cocktail starter (I put some in a flute and added chilled Prosecco...terrific!).


I guess when you're cooking, there's no such thing as a mistake. :)

xoxoxo

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