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Cool Tasty Treats

Stephen Brown

In South Florida, keeping cool is a year-round affair. Take a chill pill with these few icy recipes. Enjoy.

 

Sorbets

Sorbets are incredibly easy to make and thoroughly refreshing. If you can extract juice or run some berries in a food processor, half the battle is complete. For a sweet treat, strawberry and lemon are our bases of choice. But these ingredients alone can be drab, so we spiced them up a tad to get the palate tingling.
   For the best results, an ice cream maker is key, but for those who do not have the small appliance, a metal bowl, some time and dedication can circumvent the need—we’ll explain below**.

Lemon Pepper Sorbet - made with Meyer lemons and chili peppers - recipe for cool summer desserts

Lemon Pepper Sorbet

Makes 2 cups

  • 6 lemons, preferably Meyer
  • 2 chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ tbs. lemon zest
  • 2 tbs. lemon pulp (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.

   Zest two lemons, set aside. Juice the lemons into a bowl or measuring cup—yields between 1 and 1½ cups. Strain into a metal mixing bowl, removing seeds. Add lemon zest, chopped and seeded chilis, simple syrup and pulp (optional); stir to combine.

   Pour into the freezer can of an ice cream maker; operate according to manufacturer. Transfer into an airtight container and freeze until serving.

 

**For those without an ice cream maker, keep mixture in the metal bowl, cover and place in the freezer. Let freeze until the surface hardens but the center is still a slushy consistency—about two to three hours. Remove from freezer and whisk mixture until smooth consistency. Cover and return to freezer, repeat once or twice more.

 

Strawberry Balsamic Sorbet

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar (or less, depending on sweetness of berries or personal preference)
  • 3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.

   In a food processor, add three cups strawberries, 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs. of lemon juice and half the sugar syrup. Process until smooth; add to a medium-sized metal bowl. Repeat process with remaining quantifies of the ingredients; combine all in a large mixing bowl.

   Cover bowl and place in freezer. Let freeze until the surface is hard but the center is still a slushy consistency—about three hours. Remove from freezer and whisk mixture until smooth consistency. Cover and return to freezer until firm—about four hours.

Strawberry Kiwi Parfait - made with Strawberry Balsamic sorbet - recipe for cool summer dessert

 

Strawberry Kiwi Parfait

  • Strawberry balsamic sorbet
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • Sliced and toasted almonds
  • Whipped cream

In a cocktail glass, add a scoop of sorbet. Top with chopped kiwi, a pinch of almonds and a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy.

 

Champagne Float

Ever have a root beer float? This is similar in concept but quite different in taste. Using one of the sorbets above—we prefer the lemon pepper—take a small wine glass, fill halfway with chilled Champagne or Prosecco and top with a small scoop of sorbet. The sorbet will melt, but no worries—it’s like a slowly developing mimosa.

  • 4 oz. champagne
  • 1 scoop sorbet

Pour chilled champagne in a wine glass. Add scoop of sorbet. Serve immediately.

 

 

Grown-Up Popsicles

This summer, tap into those youthful summer days of old with some popsicles made specifically for adults, complete with a splash of booze.

Popsicles for adults made with champagne and vodka - Strawberry Basil Prosecco and Watermelon Kiwi Vodka

Strawberry Basil Prosecco

  • 1 bottle Prosecco
  • 3 cups strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Basil sprig (about eight leaves)

In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar and four roughly chopped basil leaves. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.

   In a food processor, process strawberries until smooth. Combine bottle of Prosecco, strawberry puree (optional: strain through a sieve to extract seeds), 8 tbs. of basil simple syrup (more if you like it sweet) and remaining basil leaves, julienned; stir gently and allow Prosecco to settle.

   Pour into Popsicle molds*, about 4 oz. per serving, and place in the freezer over night before serving.

 

Watermelon Kiwi

Yields 6, 4 oz. popsicles

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 2 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 6 oz. Tito’s vodka

Chop watermelon and kiwi into small chunks, add to food processor. Process until smooth. Add vodka, stir to combine.

   Pour mixture into popsicle molds*. Place in freezer over night before serving.

 

*If using glasses, place in freezer for about two to three hours until firm, add popsicle sticks and let freeze over night.

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