Monday, July 28, 2008

Nectarine Sorbet, take two

No, you didn't miss take one-I simply didn't bother to post it. The recipe was posted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. I followed it exactly as called for and I had a nice lemon-flavored sorbet with 5 nectarines stuck in it. Seriously, I couldn't believe they thought it was the best recipe they had tried. It was ok, but I'd like to taste the nectarines please. So, I tried again today with much less lemon. I eliminated the zest entirely and cut the lemon juice from 2 tbsp to less than one tbsp (maybe 2.5 tsp). I was out of almond extract this time so I left that out. The results were wonderful. Highly recommended.

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (I skipped this)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 nectarines (about 1 1/2 pounds), pitted and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more like 1 tbsp or less)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Mash the lemon zest with 1 teaspoon of the sugar to release its oil. Skip if not using zest.

In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining sugar and the water, bring to a boil while stirring, and cook the syrup until it is clear. Let cool, cover and refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours, until thoroughly chilled.

In a blender or food processor, puree the nectarines and lemon juice; add the lemon zest, syrup and almond extract.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Or, to freeze without an ice maker: Pour the prepared mixture into an 8- or 9-inch square metal pan or a half-gallon plastic container. Cover with aluminum foil, plastic wrap or a lid and freeze until firm, about 2 to 3 hours. Transfer to an electric mixer or food processor and beat until light and fluffy. Transfer to a container, cover and freeze until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Ok, seriously, you don't want to do all that extra work, just get an ice cream maker. You can get a Cuisinart for $50 or less. Other brands are even cheaper. You can make slushies and other frozen drinks with them as well.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tip-Make your own oat flour

Bob's Red Mill is the only oat flour you can buy around here. It's good, but usually $3 for a 22 ounce package. I can get a 48 ounce tube of oatmeal for $1.39 at Aldi or on sale at other stores. All you need to make your own oat flour is a food processor or blender. My cookbook told me that I could use a spice grinder. I bought one at a gourmet store-but I really didn't know what I was doing. The thing was tiny, and although it functioned properly, it took FOREVER to get a usable amount (that's what she said). So, go with the blender/food processor.

From Quaker's web site:
"Place one or more cups of Quick or Old Fashioned Oats into a food processor or blender. Process for 1 minute, or until the oats are the consistency of cornmeal or a course flour. Store unused (dry) oat flour in a covered container as you would wheat flour."

I used my food processor and my oat flour pancakes came out pretty well-a touch thick. I will try the blender next time and see if I can get the oat flour a bit finer. This is so easy to do, I am not likely to buy oat flour ever again.