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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday Recipe - Mango Banana Almond Sorbet

Ever wonder what the difference is between ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, and sorbet? Yeah, neither did I until I had kids with allergies who needed special diets.

Ice Cream - Made from milk and cream. The best homemade ones are made from a stirred custard base. At least in my opinion.

Ice Milk - Still made with milk and cream but with a lower fat content. Cheaper commercial ice creams will use the lower fat milk instead of cream then use food gums to simulate the texture of higher fat ice creams.

Sherbet - Uses less milk, but still has milk in it. Usually fruit flavored. My favorites are grapefruit, guava, and passionfruit, but they're impossible to find. I need to experiment this summer and find some good recipes. Time to buy Kern's guava nectar. (Any excuse will do!)

Sorbet - Usually dairy-free, but not always. I found some really delicious sounding sorbets at Costco - pineapple, coconut, and mango flavors - but they all contained milk and cream. How can they still be sorbet?!?!

I have kids allergic to dairy. Popsicles are nice, but they aren't ice cream. Commercial sorbets are delicious, especially the black cherry and the raspberry flavors, but they can be hard and crystallized. And they are expensive. (With brand names like Haagen-Daaz or Ben & Jerry's, yeah, you pay for it.) I've found some great coconut frozen desserts lately that are very tasty, but even more expensive than sorbet.

I'm just going to have to make my own sorbets. This one turned out deliciously smooth and creamy.

Mango Banana Almond Sorbet

2 c. frozen mango chunks (or use the tropical fruit mix from Costco - mango, pineapple, strawberries)
2 ripe bananas, the kind with plenty of brown spots but not quite enough for banana bread
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 - 3 c. almond milk

Place fruit, sugar, and vanilla in a blender. Add 1 1/2 c. almond milk. Process until smooth. Add more almond milk as needed to keep it moving. You want a thick smoothie texture. (I ended up using about 2 1/2 c. almond milk.) Get out your trusty ice cream maker (I adore my lovely little Cuisinart model with the frozen bowl.) Pour in the mixture. (You may have 1 c. leftover, but you can drink it as a smoothie while you wait. Don't overfill the ice cream maker.) Run the ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Mine, you just turn on and let it do it's thing for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy as soft serve straight away, or pack it into the bowl, cover, and let it harden for 30 minutes if you like a firmer sorbet.