Martha Stewart Living (July/August 2013)
Clay was in New York earlier this summer for work, and met up with our friend Ingela at Osteria Morini, an Italian restaurant in Nolita. (For you Bittens who happen to live in D.C., the restaurant will open a location down on the waterfront later this year).
Ingela and Clay both loved the meal, but when it came to dessert, they were torn. There were so many wonderful-sounding gelatos and sorbets: Pistachio, Rosemary-Violet, Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, Goat Cheese-Honey, Orange Blossom, Raspberry, and two others that have since escaped us. They debated which to choose and then calmly, resolutely uttered four words you should pretty much never say when you're at a restaurant:
"We'll have them all."
And that's what they did. Nine flavors of sorbet and gelato.
It was frozen bliss. (Don't judge!)
Cucumber, Celery and Gin sorbet wasn't among the options, but we're not sure that's such a terrible thing.
This recipe comes from the same Martha Stewart Living feature as Blueberry Buttermilk Sherbet we wrote about a few weeks ago. We picked out at least five recipes from that feature that we hoped to make; so far we've only made it through these two, but there's still plenty of August left.
There's no doubt that this Cucumber, Celery and Gin sorbet is refreshing. But the gin got totally lost, as far as we could tell. We had trouble tasting its floral notes in the mix. And we felt the cucumber flavor could be amped up considerably. And there was a problem with the consistency -- ours turned out a bit icy, making it more like a granita than a sorbet.
We still think there's a lot of potential here to create a sorbet that's flavorful, smooth and refreshing. We've included some suggested notes in the recipe below. If you tinker with it, let us know how it turns out.
In the meantime -- do you have a favorite flavor of sorbet?
Prep time 20 mins | Total time: 4 hours
Makes about 1 1/2 pints
NOTES FROM ZACH AND CLAY:
We would suggest tweaking this recipe slightly. Here's how we'd do it if we were making this a second time: Decrease the amount of water to 1/2 cup. Use 3 large cucumbers, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 4 tablespoons of gin. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed.
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup packed fresh celery leaves
2 large English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons floral gin, such as Hendrick’s
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add celery leaves. Let steep 15 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve set over a bowl; discard solids. Refrigerate syrup until cold, about 15 minutes.
Puree cucumbers, celery syrup, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in gin. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
Chill a loaf pan in freezer at least 10 minutes. Freeze and churn cucumber mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions, then transfer to pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hardened, at least 2 hours; sorbet can be frozen up to 2 weeks ahead.