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Cool down this summer with sorbet
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Forsyth County News

During this past winter, which was the coldest I can remember, I complained mightily for months about the cold. So much so, I promised not to complain about the heat this summer. That being said, it is certainly hot out there!

Last week a friend gave me some sweet peaches from South Carolina and I made some of the most delicious peach sorbet ever. While most recipes call for quite a bit of simple syrup, I found (by tasting) I needed half of what I thought I might need. Just be sure you taste the mixture as you go, adding just enough sweetener so you don’t end up with sorbet that is too sweet and lacks the flavor of the fruit. I like to use organic cane sugar, but plain white sugar works fine. Sorbets are a refreshing way to end dinner — the perfect way to beat the heat — not that I am complaining.

If you are on the fence about purchasing an ice cream maker, consider this: Pretty much all ice cream on the market contain lots of additives and suspicious ingredients. When you make your own, you can control the quality of the ingredients as well as the amount (and type) of sweetener you use. Today’s ice cream makers are pretty amazing. When you add the chilled ingredients, they will turn out churned ice cream in less than a half and hour. It will be soft at that point, but after an hour or so in the freezer, it will be ready for your spoons. Enjoy!

Peach sorbet

6 peaches
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water

Cut an “X” in the bottom of the peaches and blanch in boiling water for a few minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and when cool enough to handle, peel the peaches and remove the pits. Boil the sugar and water and stir until sugar is melted. Cool. Puree the peaches in a food processor until smooth. Stir in cooled sugar water and refrigerate until cold. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to directions.

Raspberry sorbet

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 quarts raspberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer, without stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about three minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Place the raspberries and lime juice in a food processor and puree. Press the raspberry puree through a strainer to remove the seeds. When the sugar syrup has cooled completely, combine with the raspberry puree. Taste and add more simple syrup if you want it sweeter.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Sorbet is particularly soft after churning but firms up after freezing.

Lemon sorbet

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, remove from the heat and cool. Combine the syrup with the lemon and zest and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After the sorbet is made, transfer to an airtight container. Cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve.

Chocolate sorbet

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups water
1/4 cup brewed espresso (or strong coffee)
11/2 tablespoons coffee liqueur

In a large saucepan, mix the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Stir in 2 cups water and the espresso. Cook over low heat until the ingredients are dissolved. Off the heat, stir in the coffee liqueur. Transfer to plastic containers and refrigerate until cold.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's directions. The sorbet will still be soft; place it in a plastic container and freeze for one hour or overnight, until firm enough to scoop.

Basil lime sorbet

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
5 to 6 limes, zested
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 very large bunch basil, leaves removed and pureed

Place the water and sugar in a pan, bring to a boil, and simmer for four minutes with the lime zest. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool. Add the lime juice and basil puree. Stir and allow to infuse for an hour. Press through a sieve and pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to directions of your machine.