Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grapefruit Guilt

Guilt seems to be an overriding theme in my life. Blogging guilt crept in after not posting for more than seven months. Gardening guilt overtook me when I missed all of the windows for planting spring and summer vegetables. And grapefruit guilt attacked when I contemplated the wasted citrus in my back yard.

Last year, I didn't have to deal with grapefruit guilt. I simply posted a message on our local RIPE produce exchange group and citrus pickers would magically arrive to harvest the fruit. But after an area fruit fly quarantine put the kibosh on fruit sharing, untouched yellow orbs fell to the ground or languished on the branches.

To the rescue came two small appliances - my De Longhi citrus juicer (lightweight, easy to store and use and just $15) and my Cuisinart ice cream maker (purchased online for less than $50).

Straight grapefruit juice has too much pucker-power, but grapefruit ade, with the addition of water and simple syrup, is as refreshing as the stuff kids hawk at summer-time stands.

Grapefruit Ade

2 cups grapefruit juice (about five grapefruits)
1/4 cup simple syrup (1/4 sugar and 1/4 cup water, heated until clear)
1 cup water

Let the simple syrup cool, stir the three ingredients together and start looking for a front-porch swing.

I found this recipe for Grapefruit Mint Sorbet on the blog for Produce in the Park, a volunteer-sponsored food and produce-sharing group in Monrovia. I love it when I have all the simple ingredients - grapefruits, mint, sugar and vodka - on hand for a delicious and refreshing dessert.

Grapefruit Mint Sorbet

2 cups grapefruit juice (and some pulp if you’d like)
2 cups water
1.5-2 cups of sugar (according to taste and sweetness of your fruit, but start on the low end)
2-4 sprigs of mint
1-2 shots of vodka or tequila

In a small pot, combine the juice, water, 1.5 cups of sugar and mint. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 10 minutes. Let steep for an additional 10-20 minutes, remove the mint, pour in the alcohol, then chill (the juice, that is).

At this point, you can either place the juice in an ice cream maker for about 25 minutes, or put it in the freezer. If you opt for the freezer, just make sure to scrape/mix it every 30 minutes while it’s freezing to incorporate some air.

The fresh-from-the-maker sorbet gets weeply quickly, but an hour in the freezer produces a firmer version (see above photo).

These grapefruit recipes have cleansed my guilt as effectively as a sorbet cleanses the palate between courses. Now if only I could find a recipe to dissolve the other guilt in my life.