16 August 2010

A sink of dirty dishes and a bowl of boozy fruit

There's little better than spending all Sunday in the kitchen, but when no dishes get washed it can make for an annoying Monday night. Imagine my happiness when I came home from work and found a sparkling kitchen waiting for me - thanks Mike!

Yesterday afternoon we lunched on panini of goat cheese and roasted red & yellow peppers. I've sometimes wished that I had bought a square grill pan so that I could get the matching panini press, but MacGyver would have been proud - I just plopped my 10" cast iron skillet onto the cooking panini and they pressed into gorgeous, golden-brown ridges.

I also experimented with my first bread baking in months - just in time, I think, as my bread flours are probably getting a bit old. I cooked up some similarly-aged wheat berries and made a oatmeal-wheatberry half-wheat bread; chewy, nutty-sweet, and brown, it made a great afternoon snack toasted with apricot preserves.

For dessert, I fell back on one of my favorites: cold fruit. I bought some peaches at the market on Saturday that got a little bruised on the walk home, so I had spent the morning preparing a sorbet.

peach bourbon sorbet

I think I love this sorbet because it doesn't taste as aggressively of peach as many things do. The peach flavor is there, certainly, but it is tempered and complemented by vanilla, brown sugar, and a touch of bourbon. I like adding some booze to my frozen desserts, especially sorbets, as it helps keep them a bit softer. Bourbon, heady and rich and slightly smoky, is the perfect match for a juicy yellow peach.

It's nice to know that instead of washing a sink full of dishes, I can put my feet up and enjoy a bowl of boozy fruit.

peach-bourbon sorbet

Peach-Bourbon Sorbet
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop
If you don't like the taste of bourbon, you may want to halve the total amount in the recipe - it's not terribly strong, but it is an assertive flavor.

2 lbs fresh, ripe yellow peaches (freestone are easiest to deal with)
1/2 C water
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 T packed dark brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 T good-quality bourbon

Blanch the peaches in boiling water for 10 seconds, then dunk in ice water to cool. Slip off the skins and cut into large chunks. Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan with the water, then cover and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add more water by tablespoonfuls if the fruit sticks.

Remove from heat and stir in the sugars. Taste and add more granulated sugar if desired. Let cool completely, then purée in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add vanilla extract and bourbon, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely.

Freeze in your favorite ice cream freezer, then transfer to the freezer to solidfy completely.

Makes about 1 quart

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