In the vast world that is the internet, sometimes you connect with a group of people with shared interests and it’s magical. Since starting this blog that place for me has been Twitter. Before becoming a food blogger, I didn’t really “get” Twitter. However, it’s been a place that has put me in touch with so many wonderful people who have been an incredibly resource to me as I wade these new blogging waters. I’ve even been fortunate enough to meet some of these people in real life and I hope to meet others in the near future.
So there had been a chat going on back and forth between a couple of these people on Twitter about how wonderful it would be if we could all get together and bake together. Clearly, this is an impossibility since we are spread out all over the country. Actually, some of the people are not even in this country. So #baketogether was born courtesy of Abby Dodge. (For all you non-twitter people, a hashtag “#” represents a sub-category in tweets and is used on Twitter to categorize tweets. You’ll see it used throughout this and future #baketogether posts.)
Abby Dodge is a widely respected baking expert, a former pastry chef and the author of 7 cookbooks, among other talents. The premise behind #baketogether is that each month Abby will post a simple recipe for all the participants. Then we get to put our own unique spin on it and make it “our way.” What an extraordinary way for all of us to come together each month and create something new.
This month’s recipe posted by Abby was Summer Strawberry Sorbet. When I read this, my wheels really started turning. In fact, they were spinning in so many different directions it was hard to get focused and make a decision. I decided to keep it simple. Even once I started to narrow down my ideas, I still couldn’t decide between two different flavors. So I decided to make both!
I decided to stick with Abby’s strawberry sorbet but I wanted to build on that. I made a Strawberry, White Peach and Basil sorbet. I infused the water in the recipe with fresh basil leaves and lemongrass. I included more fresh basil in the finished sorbet as well. This combination of herbs and fruit was so very refreshing and vibrant. In fact, I liked the combination of fruit with basil so much that I later made just a peach and basil sorbet so feel free to omit the strawberries and add two more peaches. It’s just as good!
My second flavor was supposed to be Coconut Kaffir Lime however finding kaffir limes or kaffir lime leaves, which I wanted to use to infuse the coconut water in this recipe, proved impossible. I assure you, I traveled to many specialty stores all over my fair state in pursuit of kaffir limes and came up empty. So the plan changed and was simplified. I decided to use key limes instead at the suggestion of my friend, Mike. Coconut Key Lime Sorbet with Fresh Ginger was born and was tropically delightful!
Unfortunately, as I was putting the liquid into the refrigerator to chill before I churned it disaster struck!! I spilled it… everywhere. My kitchen counter, cabinets and floor were a sticky, coconut-y mess! Fortunately, just enough liquid remained so that I was able to churn exactly one scoop. I was able to sample my work, determine it was delicious and even snap a few pictures of my tiny little scoop. So it wasn’t a total loss.
Both of these sorbets were heavenly! Thanks to Abby and #baketogether, I’ve rekindled my love of my ice cream maker. I had forgotten how much better homemade is and how very easy it is to make fresh sorbet. So do give one of these a try then maybe put your own spin on it to make sorbet “Your Way.”
Strawberry, White Peach & Fresh Basil Sorbet
1 quart of strawberries
4 white peaches, diced but not peeled
8 basil leaved, divided
3/4 c. water
2 stalks of lemongrass; outer leaves removed, root and top trimmed then cut into pieces
1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt
– Simmer 4 basil leaves and lemongrass in the water for 15 minutes.
– Removed the basil and lemongrass, add the diced peaches and sugar to the water. Simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
– Meanwhile, trim and quarter the strawberries.
– Put the strawberries and peaches with the cooking syrup into a blender or food processor and puree.
– Chiffonade the remaining basil. Add half of the basil to the strawberry peach mixture. Pulse briefly and taste. If desired, add the remaining basil.
– Stir in a pinch of salt.
– Cool the mixture to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator until cold.
– Once fully chilled, pour into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
– Eat immediately…
– Freeze and enjoy later!
Coconut Key Lime Sorbet with Fresh Ginger
13.5 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 c. unsweetened coconut water
1/4 c. freshly squeezed key lime juice
1/2 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
– Simmer the coconut milk, coconut water, lime juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
– Remove from heat and stir in a pinch of salt.
– Cool the mixture to room temperature and then refrigerate until chilled.
– Stir in the fresh ginger to the chilled mixture.
– Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
– Enjoy immediately or freeze and enjoy later!