Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Keeping My Cool
What’s cooking? Apricot Sorbet and Peach Frozen Yogurt

Normally, the idea that a giant hotel will, in 6 months time, be blocking part of the view from our condo would be enough to send a person into a deep funk.

The news was worrisome, mostly because it threatened our view of the Statue of Liberty. But in life, I try not to worry about events over which I have no control. I’m not sure it’s saved me any gray hairs, but it certainly reduces the number of things I worry about. So I’ve determined to make whatever lemonade I can out of this little lemon.

Mostly, it’s been really fun this summer watching the crews of construction workers pouring and smoothing foundations, installing windows, framing out rooms, and so on. Last week, when the weather was ghastly and I didn’t want to go out, the ever-changing panorama of workmen and cranes and those elevators that go on the outside of the building was a lot more fun than daytime TV.

The heat outside also encouraged me to generate more cool inside – with sorbets and frozen yogurts. With any fruit I can get my mitts on. OMG. Each flavor seems better than the last. So if you don’t have an ice cream maker, I heartily recommend one. Try one of these, all adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.

But first, a couple of the Kitchen Goddess’s notes about sorbets/frozen yogurts:

1. These recipes call for cooking the fruit in a non-reactive saucepan. Generally, that means anodized aluminum, glass (e.g., Pyrex), enamel-coated cast iron (e.g., Le Creuset), or stainless steel. Highly acidic foods – most fruits (including tomatoes), wine, and vinegars – react badly with aluminum and untreated cast iron, causing a metallic taste to leach into the food, changes in the color of the food, and pits/discoloration in the pan itself. Aren’t you glad you asked? You can use a copper pan, but only if you’re cooking fruit WITH sugar. Me, I just go with the stainless steel pans.

2. My friends at America’s Test Kitchen recommend “super-chilling” your dessert base by freezing a small amount (~½ cup) of it, then remixing it into the larger part  before transferring it to your ice cream machine. That seems to be effective in producing a less granular dessert.

Apricot Sorbet

Makes about 1 quart.

2 pounds really ripe apricots, pits removed
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur

Kitchen Goddess note: The ginger liqueur was my own idea. Or you can just add a piece of fresh ginger to the stovetop mixture. But if you get the ginger liqueur, your life will never be the same. Lebovitz added almond extract instead, which doesn’t sound nearly as exciting.

Chop the pitted apricots into eighths. (Don’t obsess on precise eighths – it’s all just going into a stew.) Bring the apricots and water over medium heat in a non-reactive pan, covered, until cooked through (about 10 minutes). Stir occasionally. When the fruit is completely softened, remove it from the heat and stir in the sugar. Let cool to room temperature.

Purée the mixture in a blender until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger liqueur. Chill thoroughly, then process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

* * *

Peach Frozen Yogurt

Makes about 1 quart.

1½ pounds ripe peaches (about 5 large peaches)
½ cup water
¾ cup sugar
1 cup Greek yogurt (whole-milk, 2%, or fat-free – I used fat-free which makes the sorbet a bit harder to scoop straight out of the fridge, so I let it thaw 12-15 minutes first)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Peel and pit the peaches, then cut them into chunks. Put them with the water into a non-reactive saucepan and cook over medium heat – low simmer – until soft (they’ll start to look like canned peaches), about 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sugar. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Purée the chilled fruit in a blender with the lemon juice and the yogurt. Depending on your preference, you may want to leave the purée slightly chunky; smooth or slightly chunky won’t matter to the flavor.

Process in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions.

Kitchen Goddess note: In a moment of what can only be described as inspiration, the Kitchen Goddess spooned on some of that fabulous Blueberry Syrup from an earlier post. OMG.

P.S. It turns out we’ll still have the best parts of our view, including Lady Liberty.


  1. I can attest to the deliciousness of the sorbet.
    Love how your blog looks on my iPad, BTW. Not sure I've seen it here, since you jazzed it up. Way to go, Lee!

    1. Thanks so much. I think the larger photos make a big difference. Now I just have to work on the photography!