Light and Lovely Lavender Lemon Sorbet

sorbet7BI’m a bit late posting and therefore late in wishing you all a Happy Spring! Yes, has arrived for some of us, and maybe not so much for others. We’re blooming here, in between the freezing temps and then zooming up to the high 70’s. It is still March after all.

The longer days and blooming flowers make me want something light and delicious. A palette cleanser of the very best kind. This elegant and easy to make Lavender Lemon Sorbet fills that desire perfectly. The combination of floral essence and flavor of the lavender buds tames and compliments the tang of the lemon. In fact, they are symbiotic in a way…bettering each other in the marriage. Adding buttermilk to this sorbet creates an underlying creaminess in its texture, without taking it all the way to a sherbet consistency. It’s really delightfully refreshing, any time of the year.

I didn’t strain out the lavender flower buds from my simple syrup because I enjoy the visual appeal and seed-like texture, as well as the pop of lavender essence that they add to the finished product. But if you don’t care for that tiny bit of herbal and floral chew, then by all means, strain your infused syrup before adding it to the rest of the mixture.

This is my new favorite sorbet and I’ll be making it over and over again. I hope you’ll make it, too. Be sure to use cooking quality lavender for this and all recipes that call for lavender. Cheers and have a great weekend!

Lavender Lemon Sorbet
Makes 3 pints

2 teaspoons cooking lavender buds (you can find these in gourmet sections of fine grocery stores and cooking stores)
1 cup cane sugar, divided
2/3 cup water
4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
4 cups buttermilk, I use low fat but any kind will do

Combine 2/3 cup of the sugar, 2/3 cup water and the lavender buds in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the syrup is clear and all the sugar has melted. Take it off the heat and allow it to infuse and cool for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, lemon juice and zest, and the buttermilk and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the lavender infused syrup (straining it through a fine sieve first if you want to remove the buds), and stir well to combine. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for about 5 hours or overnight. Process the mixture in your ice cream freezer according to the directions, then remove the dasher and scoop into freezer containers (it will be quite soft), then seal them. Place the sorbet into the freezer and allow it to harden the rest of the way, then scoop out and serve as desired.

Note: To make this recipe without an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a metal tray or baking dish and place it in the freezer. When the mixture starts to freeze, rake a fork through it several times to break up the ice crystals. Repeat this process about 4 or 5 times over the course of three hours. This will give you a sorbet that is really more of a granita. You can run this through a food processor to make a finer texture, then put it back in the freezer and run your tines through again several times until it has refrozen. If you don’t run the fork through it and break up the ice crystals, it will freeze solid.

You can also pour the mixture into ice pop molds.

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Peachy Pops!

PeachGingerMintpop

Frozen fresh Peach, Ginger and Mint Pops are refreshing and light!

Peach "Melba" Pops are so colorful....they take me to my happy place.

Peach “Melba” Pops are so colorful and cool….they take me to my happy place.

Peaches!

I don’t know if I even need to write much more than that word to evoke salivation, do I?

Peach season is in full force here right now. This year I wanted to try making some new peachy delights and I just happened to have some popsicle molds I bought on sale at the end of last summer that were crying out to be used.

Enter these two homemade frozen peachy pops! So easy to make, and endless variations can, and will, be explored.

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Frozen delights on a stick!

First up is a refreshingly light Peach, Ginger and Mint combo…the perfect antidote to a hot and steamy summer day! With August just around the corner and July heating up exponentially each passing moment, this particular frozen pop is on my short list for the next couple of months. It reminds me of an ice cold peach tea, but is more toothsome from using the whole fruit.

My second and latest frozen concoction is a Peach “Melba” Pop. Peaches and raspberries are truly a match made in heaven, and this pop exemplifies that. The only variation on this one that I might try is to stir the raspberry mixture through the pop with a stick before freezing, just to swirl those flavors throughout. But honestly, this pop is lip-smacking and tongue-tinglingly good just as I’ve written it. The tiny bit of Grand Marnier in the raspberry puree really amps up the peach and the raspberry flavor, adding a richness to the pop that might otherwise be missing. And it’s, well, a winner…there’s no other way to say it!

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There’s an added bonus to this peach melba recipe, too. If you use the four-pop molds that I use, you’ll have a little extra peachy goodness left over to pop into an ice cube tray and add to your next tea or cocktail. Of course you could just make more puree to start with to ensure having some leftover for this very purpose. Peachylicious!

Peach, Ginger and Mint Pops
Makes 4 – 6 oz. pops

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I use cane sugar)
3 slices of fresh, peeled ginger, about 1/16  inch thick
1 1/2 cups fresh peeled and sliced peaches (about 3-4 depending on size)
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
4 – 6 oz. pop molds or 4 small paper cups and wooden popsicle sticks

Prepare the sugar syrup by placing the water, sugar and ginger in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the peaches, mint and sugar syrup and puree until smooth. Pour the puree into 4 – 6 oz. pop molds or 4 small paper cups, dividing evenly. Place the pop mold stick tops into the molds and secure, or place your popsicle sticks into each cup. Freeze until hard and well frozen, about 6-8 hours. Unmold by carefully submerging each pop in a bowl of hot water for just a few seconds, to loosen the pop from the sides of the mold, taking care not to allow the water to get into the mold or touch the frozen pop. Remove the pop from the mold or cup and enjoy.

Peach “Melba” Pops
Makes 4 – 6 oz. pops

1/4 cup granulated sugar (I use cane sugar)
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 more tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 1/2 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches
4 – 6 oz. pop molds or 4 small paper cups and wooden popsicle sticks

Prepare the sugar syrup by placing the water and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Prepare the raspberry puree by placing the raspberries, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier into a small saucepan over low heat and cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes a puree, about 5 minutes, pressing the berries with the back of the spoon to help them break down. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the peaches, and sugar syrup and puree until smooth. Pour 1/3 of the peach puree into each of the 4 – 6 oz. pop molds or 4 small paper cups, dividing evenly. Divide the raspberry puree between the 4 pop molds, gently spooning it on top of the peach puree. Pour the remaining peach puree on top of the raspberry, filling to just below the top of the mold. (At this point you can take a small skewer and run it through the whole mixture if you want to swirl the raspberry throughout, or just leave it layered as shown.)

Place the pop mold stick tops into the molds and secure, or place your popsicle sticks into each cup. Freeze until hard and well frozen, about 6-8 hours. Unmold by carefully submerging each pop in a bowl of hot water for just a few seconds, to loosen the pop from the sides of the mold, taking care not to allow the water to get into the mold or touch the frozen pop. Remove the pop from the mold or cup and enjoy.

Want more? Here are some other delectably peachy recipes of mine to try once you have your pops in the freezer: Just Peachy Ice Cream (possibly the best peach ice cream ever!), Star Spangled Cherry Berry Peach Crumble, Mom’s Easy Peach and Blueberry Crisp, A Very Short Little Peach Cake, Susan’s Nectarine (or Peach) Lemon Buttermilk Sorbet with Bourbon.