fruit salad sorbet

when life gives you too much fruit salad, make sorbet!  since i found our electric ice cream freezer at a local thrift store ($12.98 plus tax for a new machine!), i find reasons to make sorbet.  it is the perfect treat on a hot day.  we had a watermelon aging in the fridge so i combined it with a few kiwis and a basket of ripe strawberries.  you could use any combination, what ever you like to add to your fruit salad mixture; honeydew, pineapple, grapes, mangoes or any other fruit you might put into a salad.  there are no rules here, just fruit, ripe, juicy fruit.

for mine, i had about 4 cups of fruit chunks.  puree the fruit in a blender or food processor.  i liked the seeds in the puree-it added an interesting texture but you could strain them out if you like.

to make the syrup, combine 1/3 cup sugar with 1/4 cup of water and 1/3 cup of honey(corn or rice syrup for the vegan version!) in a sauce pan.  bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  remove from the heat, add 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice and allow to cool.  add the cooled syrup to the fruit puree and freeze according to the manufacturers directions.  my yield was about 2 cups of sorbet, but you could easily double the recipe if your machine is large enough.

the little fig tree that could

gardening; love it or hate it, you choose.  personally, i love it no matter how frustrating and unsuccessful it is for me at times.  why?  because sometimes, it all falls into place, the stars align and magic happens in the garden.  in my case, the little fig tree on the sunny side of the house has decided that this is the year to really produce fruit and we have been enjoying the bounty.

about 5 years ago, we went on a typical beach trip down to the gulf of mexico.  while we were there, we stopped in at one of the sketchiest flea markets we have ever encountered-scary, almost.  when we spotted a vendor selling plants, we stopped to see what was available and took a chance on a tiny fig tree.  the first few years, the little tree hung on as we moved it from spot to spot hoping to find a happy home for it.  we diligently wrapped it up in cardboard and blankets and covered it in plastic each winter.  it wasn’t until we put it in it’s current spot that it decided to grow and grow it has-about 9 feet tall now.  better still is the fact that it is producing fruit at a rate that has me picking figs by the dozen.

brown turkey figs fresh from the tree

on a couple of days, i picked full flats of figs
while i had lots of fruit to work with, it just wasn’t enough to make a batch of jam-my first choice.  so, what to do???  sorbet, that’s what!!!  after a quick search on the internet, i had a recipe to start with.
 i cooked the figs with a little vanilla paste

 the recipe called for only 1/3 cup sugar so i added a couple tablespoons of pure honey

 after cooking, the mixture is pureed and water, wine and lemon juice is added.  the recipe called for port but we were out of port so i subbed cabernet sauvignon.

 beautiful puree with little flecks of vanilla bean and fig seeds.

 after processing, it went into the freezer to set.  perfect for a hot summer day

looking forward to next year, there are visions of fig jam in my future…