I’m interrupting the Fancy Food Show series with an ode to summer sorbet.
Grapes are supermarket standbys that no one gives second thought to. They take the form of wrinkled, dried up raisins or neglected Skittles that sit at the bottom of the bag. But when frozen, they transform into creamy, sweet-as-candy gems. It’s a magical metamorphosis; instead of becoming rock hard and flavorless (cold dulls the sensation of taste), they resemble bite-sized popsicles. My cousins let me in on this secret when I was about 10. Now, I pop grapes in the freezer when I want dessert or when I buy too many and need to preserve them.
The essence of frozen grapes can also be captured in this refreshing grape sorbet. A poster on the Chowhound message board called it the easiest, most delicious thing she made all summer. I couldn’t agree more. This sorbet is still scoopable after days in the freezer, and no ice cream maker is needed.
Adapted from Gourmet, Dec. 1996
2 cups chilled seedless green, purple or black grapes (about 3/4 pound)
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vodka (to keep the sorbet scoopable)
In a blender, purée sorbet ingredients until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes, and pour through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids. Discard solids and freeze in an ice-cream maker.
Alternate freezing method: Freeze the sorbet in ice cube trays and pulse in a food processor until smooth.
Transfer sorbet to an airtight container and in freezer harden until firm.
Each serving about 155 calories and 1 gram fat (6% of calories from fat)
Makes about 1 1/3 cups of sorbet.