I love to the capture the essence of fruit in fruit based-desserts, but I don’t care to bake in summer – well, not too much. I also detest wasting food. So here we are, late June, and the apples need to be thinned, or they’ll thin themselves (and what a waste that will be!) or the fall harvest won’t be quite as good. In late June, those thinnings are of honorable size, perfectly good for apple sauce actually – but just not fully ripe. So what’s a girl to do (beside apple sauce?): Minty Green Apple Sorbet, a simple-to-make concoction, delicate and refreshing – definitively a summer dessert!
I normally make that sorbet in the fall with green apples (green as in color, not maturity) such as Granny Smith. They give the sorbet a faint green color that’s just lovely and the tartness that comes through is just wonderful. But this is June (well July, but I made the sorbet in June) and there is no local Granny Smith apples to get until the Fall. So big thinnings it will be. To be sure it worked, I made the sorbet three times. Since the household comments were positive, here is the recipe. (If you try it, let me know how you like it)Minty Green Apple Sorbet
– 2 lb green tart apples such as Granny Smith apples – or early summer apple such as Lodi – or unripe apples; organic better since we’ll be using the skin. Otherwise wash thoroughly.
– 3 T fresh lemon juice (please, do not use bottled juice!)
– 2 cups cold mint simple syrup (recipe follows)
– 2 T finely shredded fresh mint leaves if desired
– Optional: 1 T vodka or applejack
– Quarter & core but do not peel the apples. Cook with ½ cup of water and 2 T lemon juice until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Process in food processor until smooth. Chill thoroughly (overnight)
– If you’d like a stronger mint taste, process mint with a little syrup. It’s also very pretty because there’ll be tiny green flakes.
– Add syrup(s) to apple puree. Add alcohol if using. Mix well. Taste, it should taste tart but slightly sweet (Cold deadens sweetness sensation, so it should be slightly sweet). Adjust by adding a little syrup or a little lemon juice. Process in ice-cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions. Firm a couple of hours in the freezer before eating.
– Like all home-made sorbet, it’s much better fresh, but will taste very respectable after a few weeks – especially if you take care to let it slightly soften before eating.
Minty Herbal Syrup
– 2 cups water
– 2 cups sugar
– A large handful of mint herbs (woolly apple mint with its delicate fragrance works; spearmint is nice too but the mint taste will be a lot more pronounce).. roughly chopped. If you are unsure, it’s better to use less than too much, you can always re-boil the syrup with more herbs to give it more flavor.
– bring the sugar and water to boil in heavy bottom sauce pan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for 30 seconds.
– Remove from heat. Add the mint. Cover and let cool. Chill thoroughly (overnight) when using for sorbet. Strain, pressing hard on the herbs to extract as much liquid as possible.
– Note: the syrup will keep in the fridge for up to a month and may be used to flavor ice-teas for example.
Locavore Log: apples from a Rappahannock County orchard, mint from the garde