Litchi and Lime Sorbet

Earlier last month when my cousin came down from Chennai for a couple of days enroute Delhi to join work at one of the leading television channels of the country, I decided a celebratory lunch was just the need of the hour. And since the blazing heat had just begun to set in and we had already gone for a couple of weeks without any trace of any kind of shower, I chose not to cook but take him out for a meal. Our destination that day was Santa's Fantasea, one of the newest seafood restaurants on the block that serves lip-smacking food at amazingly pocket-friendly prices. So after a hearty lunch of Rice rotis, BaaNshpora Mutton, Red Seafood Rice, Shanghai Squids and Sukha Prawns, it was time for something refreshingly cool to wash it down with. I was supposed to drop him home on my way to work and decided to hop over at the adjacent Mama Mia next to his place (or Saptaparni). Now despite the die hard chocolate lover that I am, the sight of a Limoncello Sorbet at the Gelato section propelled me to veer towards that direction. The freshness of limes was what I needed after that protein-heavy lunch and needless to say, I couldn't stop raving about it in the next few days.

I was planning to make a Lime Sorbet for quite a while and Mama Mia's version gave me more of an incentive to try it out. But I've always been skeptical about a sorbet texture turning out smooth and ice crystal-free without an ice cream maker, and since I don't own one, I was in wondering how to give it a different texture than that of a granita.And it was then that I stumbled on this amazing bit of tip from BBC GoodFood. Just add an egg white to your mixture AFTER it has frozen and refreeze is. That did the trick. Soft, chilled sorbet with not a single trace of ice crystal — this is one heck of a Summer dessert!
Recipe adapted from BBC GoodFood
Ingredients

Litchis, peeled and pitted: 1 kg (weight in total)
Caster sugar: 50 gm
Water: 50 ml
Egg white: 1
Limes, zest and juice: 2

Method

1. Make the simple syrup first. In a non stick saucepan add the sugar and water and let the sugar dissolve over a gentle heat. Bring to the boil for 1 min. Turn off heat and let the syrup cool.

2. In a blender, blitz the litchis until almost mashed. Pour in the simple syrup, the lime juice and zest and blitz a few more times till you get an almost smooth mixture. Tip the mixture in a metal container (covered with cling film) and freeze for 6 hours or more until solid.

3. Once the mixture has solidified, break up the frozen mix with a fork or scoop so that it resembles the texture of a granita. Pour the mixture again into the blender. Tip in the egg white and blitz until frothy and pale and devoid of any ice crystals. This gives you the perfectly smooth yet frozen "sorbet" texture as opposed to the slightly icy granita.
4. Return to the container and freeze again in the same metal pan with cling film,
preferably overnight.

5. When ready to serve, scoops out the sorbet and sprinkle some lime zest.
Summertime Love: Day 14
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