Hay Hay It’s Donna Day again – this time hosted by the lovely Laura of Eat Drink Live. I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow, suitcases still half-packed and the apartment a clothes-strewn disaster, but when the theme is sorbet and I’ve been rhapsodizing over the pleasures of summer, priorities give way before the seductive purr of the ice cream machine.
I’ll admit to toeing the guidelines just a bit: while the theme is sorbet, Laura graciously allowed the inclusion of sherbet, which typically uses dairy but not eggs. For some reason when my eye fell on the ruddy-gold nectarines at the market, I pictured them in a creamier, softer base. This recipe, adapted from Emily Luchetti’s A Passion for Ice Cream, uses less milk and cream than the typical ice cream recipes to allow the flavor of the fruit to really shine through. The result is a sweet, honey-toned sherbet bursting with pieces of succulent ripe fruit. It was difficult not to eat it all straight from the ice cream maker!
Making nectarine sherbet also allowed me to make my very first ice cream cones with my newly-acquired pizzelle press – yes, the Kitchen Gadget Acquisition Syndrome does not abate! Crisp, vanilla-scented, satisfyingly ridged from the decorative pattern on the press – the cones are by far the most delightful – and delicious – containers for ice cream I’ve encountered, and the most fun to make. The possibilities for the pizzelles as edible vessels for chocolate, fruit, or other sweet fillings seem boundless and enticingly explorable.
Basking in the late afternoon sun with ice cream cone in hand, oh-so-carefully rotating and licking the cone to catch all the melting sorbet dribbles, slowly making your way down the cone to the last, crunchy, sorbet-soaked bite – what could be more quintessentially summer?
I will gone for the next week on vacation – for my American readers, have a wonderful Fourth of July, and for the rest of you, enjoy the beginning of summer!
makes about 1 1/2 quarts
adapted from Emily Luchetti’s A Passion for Ice Cream
2 1/2 pounds nectarines
9 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
Peel, halve, and pit, and chop up the nectarines – you can chop them finer if you want a smoother sherbet or leave them coarser if you’d like to have chunks of fruit in the sherbet – my preference.
Put the nectarines in a medium saucepan with 6 tablespoons of the sugar, the salt, and the lemon juice. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the nectarines turn soft and jammy and the mixture is liquidy and bubbling. Remove from heat and let the nectarines cool to room temperature.
In another medium saucepan combine the cream, milk, and remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is almost simmering.
Remove from heat, pour mixture into a bowl, and chill over an ice bath until it is room temperature.
Stir in the nectarines. At this point you can chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight, which will give it a better texture when you churn it. Or, if the mixture is cool enough and you just can’t wait, you can churn it in an ice cream maker. This is a very soft sherbet so it will probably still need additional chilling in the freezer after you churn it.