Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jalapeno-Lime Sorbet

Growing up in Pomona, Kansas, the closest thing we had to sorbet was Sherbet, which I pronounced "sureburt". In fact, the word sorbet didn't enter my vocabulary until my mid 20's. Despite my lack of sorbet experience, yesterday I set out to make a jalapeno-lime sorbet. I know what you're thinking: Did he say jalapeno-lime sorbet? Is this guy on PCP? Who wants to eat a jalapeno-lime sorbet? Well, I do. Part of this stems from my Willie Wonka nature, and part of it can be chalked up to my mission to be a man-with-no-name outlaw cook who is armed with a bandoleer of chile peppers.

To my surprise there wasn't a single recipe for a jalapeno-lime sorbet on the internet. Emeril's jalapeno-pineapple sorbet on the Food TV website was the closest thing I found, so I found myself in uncharted waters. I began my journey by simply finding a lime sorbet recipe in in The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, an outstanding cookbook that is an essential reference book for any kitchen. I simply added a jalapeno pepper to the recipe, and this is was my final product:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • the grated zest of two limes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno
  1. Cut jalapeno in half and remove the seeds.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until everything is well blended.
  3. Strain mixture to remove lime zest and bits of pepper.
  4. Pour the mixture into the ice cream machine canister and churn, following the manufacturer's instructions. The mixture should resemble soft-serve ice cream.
  5. Transfer sorbet to an airtight container. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the sorbet. Cover the container and freeze the sorbet for 3 hours or until firm.
Note: The sorbet can be held in the freezer for a week if stored properly.


I loved the smooth texture and great flavor of this sorbet. I also liked the tinge of heat in the sorbet, and the fact that the burn didn't linger like a lot of spicy foods. Now I thought the sorbet was a tad bit too sweet. I felt like this sorbet leaves a syrupy taste in my mouth, instead of a clean, fresh taste. Decreasing the sugar will probably help.

Overall, I liked the recipe. Though, I think the idea of incorporating chile peppers into a sorbet might work better for other flavors. Pairing flavors might be my biggest weakness as a cook, but I hope to improve.

"Chiles are used not in violence, but to awaken and stimulate the palate, to make it alive to the possibilities of other tastes.

***Sharks Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like to mix in chopped pickled jalapenos with orange sherbet. It is very good!