The Bun and I spent a weekend in Indianapolis visiting family and generally gorging ourselves on homemade treats that his sister-in-law Amy made for us, along with a few yummy things from other cooks in the family (thanks, Aunt Mary, for the Pie Crust Cookies!).
Amy and I got to talking about making ice cream, and so I started to crave it, of course; along with the warm weather teases, I am likely to make at least one batch soon, and maybe more. Some of the more creative flavors of ice creams and sorbets that we’ve tried are a twist on the traditional, including:
Bees and Flowers Ice Cream (flavored with lavender and honey)
Peach-Bay Sorbet (using white peaches and fresh bay leaf)
Spice Cream (using many of the “warm” spices you might use in gingerbread)
As they are very much in season and really cheap at the store right now, I decided to make mango sorbet. Though there is nothing I love more than a fresh mango cubed and mixed with strawberries, I am finding that mangos in high season are kind of hit-or-miss. As it turns out, an overripe mango might not be the best to eat out of hand, but it makes the perfect sweet puree to freeze into sorbet. Beyond the fruit itself, you don’t really need much in the way of ingredients. I didn’t want to cook the mango at all, so I just made some simple syrup to sweeten it up, and thought that a little lime juice and lime zest would add some brighter flavors. The ease of this recipe, as in many recipes, is in the equipment. You need a good blender, and an easy ice cream maker, and by that, I mean one of the kind that doesn’t need salt or ice or any of that mess. We have a Cuisinart ice cream maker, which has an internal liquid-lined container that you keep in the freezer all the time. When you are ready to make ice cream, you simply pour your mixture into the container, insert the paddle, put on the lid, and turn it on; 25 minutes later, you have ice cream or sorbet. Many recipes will tell you to remove the final product from the maker and put it into a container to fully freeze it before serving, but I prefer to serve it almost soft-serve style right away.
Another recipe I would like to try is Rocky Road, which I know is going to be a bit tricky for a home cook, but I am willing to try. If anyone has some guidance on a good chocolate base, I think that is a great place to start. I’ve made chocolate ice cream in the past, but I still think I can perfect it. Add some pecans, mini marshmallows, and some chocolate chunks, and we’ll have a success. =)