I do not appreciate hot weather. I grew up in a beach town (Santa Cruz, California), and always expect the summer to be foggy and for the real heat to descend in September. This global warming/drought nonsense is making me grouchy, so anything cool and refreshing is a good thing.
Sorbet seemed perfect to make this week, if only because I’ve probably consumed as much dairy in the last couple of months as I usually do in a year. I could be exaggerating, but I’m the kind of person who rarely makes it through a whole quart of milk before it goes bad. What a difference homemade ice cream makes!
When I found a recipe for cucumber mint sorbet here: cucumber & mint sorbet | milliemirepoix., I knew it was going to be my next frozen treat. It was also an opportunity to make use of the metric system settings on my food scale, as the blogger who posted this recipe lives in New Zealand, and the ingredients were given in grams. Nerds get excited about strange things, I know.
Here are some photos of the process, following the recipe in the link above:
One note about making sorbet: because there is no dairy or fat in it, sorbet tends to freeze into a block of ice. To prevent this, many recipes call for whipped raw egg white to be mixed in towards the end of the churn. This idea made me really nervous — I’m not interested in getting salmonella just so I can have sorbet with good texture. I also found that making an Italian meringue by cooking the egg white in simple syrup makes for a “creamier” sorbet. I may try this next time, but I discovered this method after my simple syrup had already cooled down. I went for another additive: vodka. Adding alcohol keeps the sorbet from turning into ice because it doesn’t freeze.
If I drank gin, it would probably have been my first choice for a classic combination with the cucumber and mint. I would probably use rum if I were making a lime or pineapple sorbet. In this case, vodka was the best option. First, it doesn’t change the flavor of the sorbet. More importantly, I had some in my freezer.
The final product is simply and distinctly flavored. If you are not a fan of cucumber or of mint, you don’t want to make this recipe. As for me: I think it’s one of the most refreshing and delicious things I’ve tasted in a very long time.