Grape Sorbet, or what to do with extra grapes

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I can’t recall a time my family actually finished a bag of fresh grapes. I buy them with the best of intentions and am usually delighted with their jewel tones and bright flavor. Somehow I forget to eat them myself or offer them as a snack, and invariably I will fish the crinkled remainder out of the fridge a fortnight later. This weekend I found a way to ensure that this bounty will actually get eaten eventually: wash, pluck, freeze, and then blend them into a sorbet.

Technically, this is not a sorbet, but instead a frozen fruit puree. It has just two ingredients, frozen seedless grapes and a small amount of water. To freeze the grapes, just rinse and pat them dry. Next pluck each grape off the stem and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for a day, thaw in the microwave for thirty seconds (frozen solid grapes don’t blend well at all, btw), and whip in a blender with a tablespoon of cold water until smooth.

This treat is ready to eat straight from the blender. It is tart, sweet, and refreshing. In this frozen form, all of the complexity of the grape’s flavor is apparent and can be savored slowly. It costs about 50 cents a serving.

Grape Sorbet

Makes 2 servings

2 cups frozen seedless grapes

1 T water

Thaw grapes for 30 seconds in microwave or for 15 minutes at room temperature. Put grapes and water in blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.

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Coconut Ice Cream

coconut ice cream

I could have titled this post ice cream experiment number four. Attempts two and three were valuable solely in teaching me firsthand what not to include in an ice cream recipe. Number two proved to me that fat free half and half produces a treat akin to the low budget ice milk of the 70’s that no one missed when it disappeared from grocery stores for good. Trial three taught me that ice cream does need some fat and natural sweetener, unless one has access to industrial strength churning facilities. I so wish I could report that I’d created a decent recipe for 30 calorie ice cream, but my daughter assured me that my mixture of unsweetened almond milk, espresso powder, and sucralose tasted like misery. That combo was so awful that I deleted my pictures of it because the memory of its flavor made me shudder.

This evening’s attempt was free of such calorie conscious nonsense.

Coconut Ice Cream

makes 10 servings

1 cup canned coconut milk

2 cups half and half

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 t coconut extract

1/4 t salt

Stir together all ingredients with a whisk until sugar is dissolved. At this point, the mixture can be poured directly into an ice cream maker, but I recommend pouring it first into a blender and pulsing a few times to make it smoother and easier to churn. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. This ice cream may be enjoyed freshly churned with a soft serve style consistency, or it may be hardened in the freezer before serving.