Archive for the 'dessert' Category

Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

cucumber gin sorbet 1 Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

Apparently not having a kitchen is not keeping me from making stuff.

We were clearing out the fridge to move it, and I became obsessed with the use of three quarters of an English cucumber. We couldn’t just eat it – I had to transform it. I almost made fattoush, which would have utilized a couple pitas in the freezer (extra points! It’s like the culinary version of Scrabble) but the gin won. And besides, I needed to get that ice cream machine insert out of the freezer too – those things take up some serious real estate.

cucumber gin sorbet 2 Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

W was not pleased when he heard the machine going and learned I was making cucumber ice cream.

It’s the easiest sorbet ever – chop a cuke into your food processor, add mint, gin, and a simple syrup made my warming sugar and water – which you can totally do in the microwave. It deserves a good gin, like Hendrick’s – something smooth and herbal. Puree + freeze for a refreshing patio sorbet that’s also perfect for scooping into a glass of prosecco or tonic.

Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 large English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
small handful fresh mint
2-4 Tbsp. (1-2 shots) good gin

In a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, heat the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Pour into a glass or other container (to speed up the cooling process) and put into the fridge until it’s cooled down.

Put the cucumber, mint and gin in the bowl of a food processor. Add the simple syrup and pulse until as well blended as you can get it. Scrape into the bowl of an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Alternatively, pour into a large loaf pan and freeze, stirring every hour or so until it’s frozen.)

Makes about 1 L.

button print gry20 Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

August 20 2014 | dessert and freezable | 9 Comments »

Blackberry-Rhubarb Crumble

blackberry crumble 3 585x829 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

We’re still out in Tofino, where I’ve settled into a routine of walking into town for coffee, then quickly emptying my cup in order to fill it with the first ripe blackberries of the season. Usually we miss the boat, blackberry-wise, but they seem to be starting earlier this year, a handful on each bush ripening far before their siblings.

blackberry Collage Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

I love this design feature – the berries ripen in a staggered schedule, even on the same branch, doling out a few juicy berries a day to keep you going through August. When the first truly black berries arrived, I quickly picked enough to make jam; these days I manage a cup or two full, depending on my perseverance – enough for a batch of scones or a galette.

blackberry crumble 5 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

My dad always requests a crumble, which is easily obliged; every summer I toss berries and stone fruits and rhubarb in pie plates or baking dishes with sugar and a spoonful of flour, then rub together roughly equal quantities of butter, brown sugar, flour and oats – and sometimes a few sliced almonds or chopped pecans – to scatter overtop and bake until it’s bubbly around the edges and crunchy on top. There is no pressure for it to set, or to slice out cleanly; it’s intended for spooning, regardless of how stiff or juicy it is. A crumble (or crisp, whatever you like to call it) is a forgiving summer dessert.

blackberry crumble 4 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

The amount of sugar you use will depend on the fruit and your taste – I like things tart, but blackberries and rhubarb do need a little help. I tossed a pie plate full with about 1/3 cup sugar and a spoonful (1-2 Tbsp.) flour. For the crumble, rub 1/3-1/2 cup each soft butter, brown sugar, flour and oats (if you like – otherwise use twice as much flour as butter and brown sugar) along with a pinch of salt and a shake of cinnamon, if you have it. Sprinkle over the fruit, squeezing it as you go to create larger clumps. You can eyeball it – just make sure you wind up with a mixture that’s crumbly, but holds together when you squeeze some in your hand.

blackberry crumble 6 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

If you have a food processor, blitz it all for a finer texture – nuts are good, too.

blackberry crumble 1 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

Bake at 350F, not worrying if you’re in a rental with a wonky oven, until it’s bubbly and golden, which should take around 45 minutes. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

pixel Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble
button print gry20 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

August 08 2014 | dessert | 4 Comments »

« Prev - Next »