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Sugar High Friday: Spiked Lemon Ginger Sorbet

May 26, 2006

Lemon Ginger Sorbet

Another food blogging event, another sorbet. What is it with Sugar High Friday and sorbet? I do know how to make other desserts; I promise. Really! I know that sorbets aren't as sexy as cake with bright, fluffy frosting, or dark, fudgy, toothmarked brownies. Or crisp, airy meringues that shatter between layers of whipped cream, and fruit tarts whose flaky pastry sinks beneath rows and rows of shellacked kiwis, strawberries, and peaches. Sorbets belong to the realm of palate cleansers and low-fat desserts, the token offering in the ice cream case for the dieter. They don't really belong in the same category as other desserts - or do they?

As much as I love soft, deep, rich and creamy things, full of gooey chocolate, I keep getting pulled back to the more austere world of sorbet, and I think that this sorbet, at least, is a treat worth saving for the end of a spicy summer meal.

The SHF theme this month, hosted by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast, is ginger. Now, I love ginger. But it's another one of those ingredients that seems to belong more to winter than to summer - think gingerbread, ginger cake, sticky ginger puddings. Warm, brown, treacly things - that's what ginger makes me think of. Puddings and desserts. But it's 95 here in the Alligator Belt, and none of that would do.

So, a lemon ginger sorbet, with honey for depth, and whiskey for a little bite. This is another grownup version of a classic summertime treat: the icy lemon slushies they shake up at the state fairs and street carnivals, sweet in a sticky cup, headache-inducing and sucked too fast through a straw, standing under the hot yellow sun.

The honey gives the taste a rounded edge, and the whiskey a long, warm finish. I have been finding that sorbets really benefit from some alcohol; it keep them from freezing too hard into inedible chunks, and this one has a slushy texture that melts on the tongue in feathery flakes, tart and sweet and soft at the same time, with the taste of a spiked lemonade drained from a tall glass on a shady porch in the heat of a Southern afternoon. I kept sneaking bites from the cup in the freezer; the warm sweetness is not cloying but just right and full of the nostalgia of hot days at the fair. I served it with a honey spice cake and with or without that it is truly worthy of a Sugar High Friday.

I guess we'll see what turns up next month; if another sorbet appears, then maybe there's something to worry about!

Lemon Ginger Sorbet

I am setting down exactly how I made this batch, since it did turn out well. However, this is a very sweet sorbet, like lemonade; it works well as a dessert, but not so well as a palate cleanser. I would like to experiment with more lemon juice and less sugar, and maybe a little more ginger, for a cleaner taste. So, be aware that if you try it you may want to adjust the proportions to suit your own taste.

Spiked Lemon Ginger Sorbet
Makes about 1.5 quarts

2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 4-6 large lemons)
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
0.5 cup honey
0.25 cup fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons whiskey, divided

1. Juice the lemons and strain the juice into a large bowl.
2. In a saucepan, bring the water, sugar, honey, ginger and 4 tbsp whiskey to a boil.
3. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes and then let the syrup steep for an additional 15 minutes.
4. Strain into the same bowl as the juice. Stir in a pinch of salt and two more tbsp whiskey.
5. Refrigerate until chilled, preferably overnight.
6. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze for about 15-20 minutes.
7. Pack into a container and cover with plastic wrap, touching the surface of the sorbet, then cover tightly with a lid and freeze for at least three hours before serving.

Posted by Faith at 26 May 2006

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I love sorbets and think this is a GREAT addition to Sugar High Fridays.

I really need to buy myself an ice cream maker!

Thanks for sharing - look for the round up on Monday.

Posted by: ruth at May 26, 2006 04:48 PM

I think ginger and sorbet compliment each other so well! Lovely photo and lovely entry!

Posted by: Ivonne at May 28, 2006 09:43 AM

hmmm very do-able and i like it spiked!

Posted by: babe_kl at May 29, 2006 08:09 AM

Yum! This sounds delicious. I love the blueberries in the shot too... I'm pretty sure I'd be eating a blueberry with each bite.

Posted by: L at May 30, 2006 01:57 PM

Faith your blog is really good. I like your writing style a lot. It inspires me and that is the sign of a good writer. They inspire other good writers to be like Awww, I wish I would have thought to say that. I am gonna keep reading.

Posted by: Ginger at May 31, 2006 10:59 PM

I forgot to say I like ginger a lot too, except I really don't. Isn't that weird? I like my name, but I really don't enjoy the flavor in food. Too bad, because you make it sound so nice.

Posted by: Ginger at May 31, 2006 11:00 PM

looks like the perfect hot summer dessert.

My Life As A Reluctant Housewife

Posted by: Gabriella True at June 2, 2006 02:53 AM

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