September 16, 2010

basil-grapefruit sorbet

Enough already with the frozen desserts, right?  It’s mid-September!  Maybe it’s my natural inclination to cling to the final days of summer, but I’m on a frozen dessert kick lately…That and I had a few grapefruit that had been in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and didn’t seem to be going anywhere unless I took action!
 
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Basil-Grapefruit Sorbet
 
4 medium grapefruit
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
10 basil leaves
2 tablespoons (citrus) vodka
 
Scrub the grapefruit thoroughly.  Remove zest and set aside.
 
In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar.   Bring to boil and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved and liquid is clear.  Stir in basil leaves and 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest. 
After about 10 seconds, turn off heat and allow basil and zest to steep in syrup until ready to use (at least 10 minutes).
 
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Halve grapefruit and juice.  This should yield about 1 ½ cups of juice. 
 
Add simple syrup and vodka to grapefruit juice in a medium bowl.  Stir to combine.  Pass the mixture through a find mesh strainer to remove any solids. 
 
Allow mixture to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Or chill in salted ice bath:  fill a large bowl about 1/3 full with ice.  Add about 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Set medium bowl containing sorbet mixture in larger bowl and stir occasionally until mixture is cold (about 10 to 15 minutes). 

Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. 
 
The final product will probably still be a bit soft.  For a firmer texture, allow sorbet to freeze in freezer for at least 8 hours. (I found that the basil flavor was more pronounced after resting, as well.)  For a firmer texture immediately, use half the amount of vodka in the recipe.
 
And since you’ve been working so hard….
 
Use a little extra basil-grapefruit simple syrup to make yourself a drink!
 
Basil-Grapefruit Cocktail
 
3 basil leaves
2 tablespoons basil-grapefruit simple syrup (strained)
1 ½ oz. (citrus) vodka
splash of grapefruit juice 
club soda
ice

In the bottom of an old-fashioned glass, muddle basil leaves.  Add simple syrup, vodka, and ice.  Top with club soda (several good splashes or to taste).  Stir.  Garnish with a grapefruit twist or slice and a sprig of basil, if desired.

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