One of my wonderful birthday presents this year was a White Mountain ice cream maker. I’ve had a cheap little ice cream maker for a few years now, but it never produced a satisfactory end product; everything I’d read about making ice cream at home suggested that to do it really right, you need the whole “ice and rock salt” thing going on to get your dessertstuff to freeze at the right consistency. I am super excited now to be able to channel the power of science that I totally don’t understand to make my desserts better.
The recipe I chose to christen the maching? Mojito sorbet. I found it Cheryl and Bill Jamison’s Smoke & Spice, and it sounded too simple and delicious to pass up. I mean, really — mojito sorbet? That’s got to be one of the greatest inventions of all time.
Like I said, the recipe was really simple. Just combine 2 cups of sugar, 1 1/2 cups of loosely packed mint leaves, 3/4 cups of light rum, and 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until small bubbles start to form at the sides of the pot, then remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Then strain the mixture, stir in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 1/4 cup more rum. Let the mixture cool, then you’re ready to pop it into your ice cream maker and get freezing.
The instruction booklet that came with my ice cream maker explained the deal behind the ice and rock salt thing, and even with it spelled out for me, I can’t figure it out. All I know is that you pour the mojito syrup into the canister, put the canister in the bucket, and fill the rest of the bucket with ice.
Then you start the motor, let the canister get chilled, and then start pouring on the rock salt. As the ice melts down, you keep adding more ice and more rock salt until, per the instruction manual, “the motor sounds like its really straining.” What a helpful instruction! It also says it should take 20-25 minutes. The recipe for the mojito sorbet explained that the rum would make it so it wouldn’t freeze super solid, so I didn’t bother waiting for the motor to really strain; after 25 minutes, I opened up the canister and sure enough, in the bottom was a delicious-looking soft sorbet.
Yes, this is every bit as good as it should be. It’s light and sweet, with a mojito-y lime-and-mint marvelousness going on. And yes, there’s a boozy marvelousness to boot. Pookie put it best when she polished off a bowl of it and declared, “I want all my drinks to come in sorbet form from now on.”