Friday, August 8, 2008

Some Kind of Wonderful

I was walking down the street by my house the other day, in my new neighborhood that I love, and the weather was perfect, a rarity here. And I thought, "I'm really happy right now." So what does this call for?

Pomegranate champagne sorbet.
I had this a couple of years ago at a restaurant, and have been thinking about it ever since. Now that it's warm outside, and I'm in a celebrating mood, it seemed like the time to break it out. I'd never actually made a sorbet before, or any kind of ice cream, so the first attempt was, how shall we say, slushee-like? Not that there's anything wrong with pomegranate champagne slushees, but it wasn't what I was hoping for.

So I tried it again the next night, with a little tweaking. As much as I love pomegranate, pure pomegranate juice can be a little overwhelming. Luckily, in my fridge, I happened to have some blood orange juice. Perfect. I mixed it all up, let it churn in the ice cream machine for much longer than the instructions said it would take, (more on that later,) and out came a beautiful, pinky-orange sorbet, the color of a just-ripening watermelon, with tiny little bubbles throughout. It's light and sour, and I think my friend with whom I shared it was right in saying that the champagne taste was more noticeable once it had solidified in the freezer overnight, as opposed to its mostly-frozen state straight out of the machine.

This sorbet is for the summer. (Really, what sorbet isn't?) But more importantly, this is celebratory sorbet. So find something worth a little pat on the back, and make this recipe.

Pomegranate Mimosa Sorbet
Makes 6 servings

4 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup blood orange juice
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup champagne or sparkling wine

Heat the first four ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, and refrigerate for at least one hour. This was my mistake in the first batch--if the mixture is too warm when it goes into the ice cream maker, it will take significantly longer to freeze, and you might run out of ice, (as I did,) long before your sorbet is no longer a slushee, (as mine was.)

After this, you just add the champagne and put the whole mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the directions. Since everyone's is different, I can't guarantee how yours works, but I'll give you a few tips that I learned from mine:

*Add salt to the ice water surrounding the cylinder containing the juice mixture. It lowers the temperature considerably and makes it freeze faster.
*If you don't let the juice mixture cool beforehand, your sorbet will likely take over an hour to freeze.
*Don't overfill the ice bucket--it will prevent the sorbet from churning.
*It's done when it starts to look as if the machine is having difficulty churning it any longer. Don't keep mixing it! You'll damage your ice cream maker.

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