Friday, December 7, 2012
Last week a crazy storm ripped through Western Australia and I have a feeling it might be the very one that's just passed through Auckland, NZ too? (I hope you are all okay?!) During the storm the kids and I stood at the window looking out into our back yard and begged for the crazy winds to stop. They didn't. It blew so hard we could see the full trunk of the mango trees out back, their branches were that splayed. At the start of the storm only a few baby mangoes had lost their grip and fallen. But come the end of day two, hundreds lay scattered all over the backyard along with about 25 or so lemons too. Thankfully the mango trees were laden enough that we will still have plenty to eat in January but the crazy lemon haul had me thinking quick smart about ways to use them up. The kids have lined them all up on our windowsill just in front of the kitchen sink, so there is a daily reminder every time I do the dishes, which lets just say happens way more than I'd like for it to at the moment!
Since the storm passed things have once again warmed up, making this cooling sorbet the perfect afternoon pick-me-up for tired kids after school. Lemon, honey and thyme is a classic combination and one that still puts a smile on my face every time I use it and not only because it sounds like my blog name (cheesy eh!) but because herbs work so amazingly in sweet treats.
Last little note for my NZ readers. Make sure you pick up the new summer edition of Nourish Magazine (for free!) if you live in the Waikato or Bay of Plenty regions. I've shared a couple of ice-block (aka popsicles or icy-poles) recipes in it and there's a nice little write up about me and My Darling Lemon Thyme. I've only seen the pdf of the article but hope to get a hardcopy sent over real soon so I can share it with the rest of you. Also once the Autumn issue is out you will be able to view the Summer issue online xx
lemon, honey + thyme sorbet
Now this sorbets flavour and intensity entirely depends on the sweetness/sourness of your lemons. If you have lovely meyer lemons you will only need to use 3/4 cup honey. But if yours are one of the more sour varieties you may want to bump that up to the full 1 cup of honey. Taste the mixture before you churn it, it should taste intense as freezing mutes flavours, but you don't want things mouth-puckeringly sour either.
Makes about 600ml
3/4 cup-1 cup (185ml-250ml) honey
1 cup (250ml) cold water
small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
the finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups (375ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 large lemons)
Combine honey (see head notes), water, thyme sprigs and lemon zest in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the honey. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and set aside until cold. Strain syrup into a jug, squeezing as much flavour as you can from the thyme leaves and zest before discarding them both. Add lemon juice to the syrup and chill for at least 1-2 hours. Churn in a ice cream machine for approx 20 minutes before transferring to a container and freezing for a further 2 hours before serving. Best eaten in one go, but should there be any leftovers simply leave on the bench for 5-10 minutes to soften slightly before serving.
If you don't have a ice cream machine pour the mixture into a shallow freezer-proof container (a loaf tin is perfect), freeze for 1 hour until the edges are starting to freeze, beat with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Return to the freezer and repeat this another 2-3 times before leaving to freeze for 2 hours. The results won't be quite the same, but still delicious.
Looking for a warming winter (drink) version of this sorbet? Click here and sub in thyme for the rosemary.
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