When one’s plate is a little fuller than usual (say getting engaged, starting a new job, contemplating foot surgery and taking on being a first time home buyer in the span of three months — just as a hypothetical, of course), that plate should be filled with ice cream. If you really want to do it up right, that ice cream should be swapped out every once and awhile with homemade crème fraîche sorbet.
Reader, are you familiar with this wonderful thing known as crème fraîche? If not, let me introduce you. Crème fraîche is a soured cream that can best be described as something akin to cream cheese, mascarpone, sour cream and Greek yogurt. It can be dolloped atop a bowl of pureed soup, or added just before serving to a pan sauce. But here, dear reader, it is turned into ice cream. Crème fraîche ice cream isn’t too far fetched an idea since it is, well, just cream but, adding plenty of sweetness cut by a healthy dose of lemon juice tastes like sunlight in a bowl.
Making your own ice cream or sorbet at home does require (in most cases) the bulky addition of an ice cream machine, but (as I have made the case for in the past) a worthwhile investment of both cash and space. Crème fraîche sorbet is another example of a frozen confection that you simply whisk together in a bowl, pour into the frozen core of the ice cream machine and turn it on. Two to three hours later, after a setup period in the freezer, you have about a quart to savor for the next several days. Plenty for anyone, both those sane individuals enjoying their summers by the pool, or those that like to try and squeeze in as many life changes as possible in the span of three months.
crème fraîche sorbet
adapted from Bon Appètit, August 2009
yields about 4 cups
2 cups chilled crème fraîche*
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Whisk the crème fraîche, corn syrup, lemon juice, sugar and salt in large bowl. Make the sorbet in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to container, cover, and freeze.
This sorbet may be made up to 3 days ahead. Keep frozen. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes to soften slightly before serving.
*Crème fraîche is a french dairy product that can be found in many grocery stores. If you cannot find it, try making it at home. Mix two cups heavy whipping cream (pasturized, not ultra pasturized, if you can find it) and 2 tablespoons buttermilk or lemon juice. Pour into an airtight container and let sit at room tempearture for 8 to 24 hours, depending on the heat of your kitchen and how think you would like the final product. Refrigerate. The crème fraîche will store for up to one week in the refrigerator.