Sunday, September 03, 2017

Peach Sorbet, Take Me Away!

This summer is going down in the record books as a weird one, for sure. For the first time ever, I walked on the Oregon coast and, rather than the cool breeze wafting from the ocean, I felt a hot, suffocating wind blowing from the shore. For the last month we've had wildfires burning up and down the Cascades, bringing smoky skies for days at a time—last night the moon looked like a tangerine floating over the city—and today our neighbors' houses a block away are veiled in a grey haze.

Temperatures in the Willamette Valley have reminded me of my summers in Eastern Oregon more than the moderately balmy summers we're used to, and we've had to deploy fans and a window air conditioner to keep the house at a livable temperature for the pets and people inside.

The balm to all this Shakespearean drama in the weather has been, for us, the simple pleasures of late summer that we look forward to all year, exemplified by big, sweet tomatoes sandwiched between thick slices of country bread and the perfume of fleshy peaches eaten out of hand, bursting with sticky juice.

Just this morning I was down at our neighborhood farmers' market to pick up fresh corn, shiny deep purple eggplants and big heads of lettuce so alive I half expected them to speak to me. Dave had put in a request for fruit for sorbet, so a box of blushing Sweet Soleil peaches was dutifully purchased for that purpose. He's just finished churning the first batch, and I can't wait to have an icy dish on the porch after dinner as we wait for the first breath of the evening's breeze.

Bourbon Peach Sorbet

3 lbs. peaches
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. bourbon

Pit and quarter whole peaches, leaving skins on, and place in food processor with lime juice and sugar. Process until it's a fine purée. Pour it into a fine mesh sieve (in batches if necessary) over a large mixing bowl and, using a wooden spoon, stir and press the purée through the sieve. (This step is super easy and not time-consuming, so don't let it put you off.) Stir in the bourbon, then place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the purée. (This keeps it from oxidizing and turning brown.) Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to chill completely. Put chilled purée in ice cream maker and process according to directions. Place in container in freezer for 2-3 hours (or overnight), then serve.

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