I live near a Williams Sonoma store. As a graduate student, this is both a blessing and a curse because while it gives me a place to go to get culinary inspiration, I rarely have the funds to actually buy anything in the store. Every time I go in, I am reminded of those famous lines from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: “Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink.” *Sigh*
But one day last summer, I had enough of the longing-but-not-buying. I put my
foot wallet down and I bought an ice cream maker. Specifically, I bought this Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet maker:
Photo courtesy of Cuisinart
With these types of purchases, you have to have an honest conversation with yourself and ask: am I ever really going to use this? My mom, for example, has an ice cream machine almost exactly like this and I had never – not once – heard her mention it. You can only guess how many times it has been used. I only discovered it’s existence after telling her about mine. I have not, however, regretted buying my ice cream maker in the slightest. I’ve used it on an almost biweekly basis last summer, and getting it out for the year’s first batch of frozen deliciousness was exciting. It was the cooks equivalent to buying that first iced coffee of the year. You know what I’m talking about.
About 3 weeks ago, I posted a recipe about buttermilk pancakes. (Read it here.) I still had more than half of the buttermilk sitting in my fridge, and the expiration date read 4/22/13. This meant I had a week to use it. I hate the thought of wasting food, and sadly, I end up wasting food on a semi-regular basis (this is one of the lesser known difficulties of living alone). So on Saturday, I made it my mission to find a use for the remaining buttermilk, and I stumbled across a recipe for buttermilk sorbet. The post that inspired me was this one. Of course, I made some adjustments – I can’t help myself – and I’m very happy with the results. Also, I changed the name because I am under the impression that by definition, a sorbet does not contain any dairy, but sherbet does. Here is an article that clears this up along with some other frozen treat definitions.
Orange Creamsicle Sherbet
-1/2 c water
-Juice from 2 navel oranges + pulpy store-bought o.j. to obtain 1 c juice total
-All/most of the zest from the 2 oranges
-1/2 vanilla bean*, split and scraped
-1 c sugar
-2 1/2 c buttermilk, cold
Combine all the ingredients except the buttermilk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, then remove from the stove and let cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the juice mixture into a covered container and let it cool completely in the fridge. This should take 2-3 hours, and can be left overnight. Once the juice is cold all the way through, combine with the buttermilk, mix well, then transfer everything into your ice cream machine and proceed according to the manufacturer’s instruction. This makes about 1 quart of sherbet. Enjoy!
*Can substitute 1-2 tsp vanilla extract, although you won’t have the little beans addled throughout.
Note that as far as frozen treats are concerned, this is pretty darn healthy. Obviously this sherbet treat is high in sugar, but the fat content is far below that of ice cream, especially the custard-based ones. Since I’ve been trying to cut back my sugar intake, I’ve found that just a few bites of this are enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, and especially after the crazy days I’ve been having, it feels really good to have a treat. Happy spring!