Just the other evening I hosted a sit down, six-course dinner and wanted to incorporate an “intermezzo,” or cleansing of the palate, between the first three courses and the main entrée. I don’t own or have interest in owning an ice cream maker, but fell back on a quality recipe that I have used for years that makes perfect sorbet.
Sorbet is a frozen dessert that you make with water sweetened with fruit juice. It is often called sherbet or Italian ice, or a slew of other names that are used to describe this dessert. It is similar to ice cream, and can contain milk products, but sorbet differs in that it does not have air whipped into it like ice cream does. It is often used as an alternative to ice cream for those on a diet because it does not contain any fat.
Many sorbet recipes instruct you to use a food processor or ice cream machine, which most people either don’t have, or don’t have the time to use and clean it. This recipe requires only a blender and can be made a day ahead.
Grapefruit Mint Sorbet
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves and stems plus sprigs for garnish
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice (pink)
Combine sugar, water, mint leaves and stems in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cover and set aside to cool. Add grapefruit juice, puree in a blender or processor; strain; transfer mixture to a loaf pan; cover and freeze until firm-better if made a day ahead.
Puree again in a blender, transfer to a small bowl before forming into a ball.
Make 1 to 3 balls with a melon baller and put into a decorative glass. I suggest you make the sorbet balls the night before to ensure the sorbet is frozen in its form. Then garnish with a mint leaf before serving.