High Hopes

January 27, 2008

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It was going to be so good: grapefruit sorbet, laced with honey and ginger. It was going to be light and refreshing. It was going to softly hint of summer—the season I’m currently having a very difficult time (a) remembering and (b) imagining could take place right here in Chicago (ever). And it was going to be a great way to make use of the gigantic bowl of grapefruits that I just couldn’t resist buying at the store:

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(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos and the recipe link.)


I should have known. I should have known when I had trouble finding a recipe (in the end, I used a recipe that called for lemons). I should have gotten an inkling when I sliced into the grapefruits, waiting to be dazzled by their ruby-redness, only to find a muted pink. And I definitely should’ve taken a hint when I dug the bowl of our ice cream maker out of the depths of our freezer, only to find it scattered with some freezer debris. And, folks, I simply should’ve hung up the towel when I used a damp paper towel to wipe out the bowl. Have I not seen that scene in The Christmas Story where little what’shisname sticks his tongue to the pole? Did I not grow up in Minnesota and learn the hard way that, after December 1 and until March 31 (at least) wet anything will stick to metal? Well, I’ve done both of those things, but they didn’t stop me from ending up with a terrible ice-cream-maker-bowl-eats-paper-towel mess.

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Luckily, after a mini-tantrum, Kevin (with a very scared looked in his eyes, I’m guessing from said tantrum) and I were able to chisel the by-then-encrusted paper towel out of the bowl. I was terrified that we’d let the bowl warm up too much and that we’d end up grapefruit gazpacho, rather than sorbet.

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But it wasn’t the consistency that foiled us. The sorbet came out smooth, yet icy. And I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I expected the flavors to sing together (perhaps still having memories of my last ginger-and-citrus sojourn?). To delight. To transcend. And the list goes on.

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As I’m sure you’ve probably guessed by now: they did not sing. They did not delight. And they certainly did not transcend. The grapefruit was at best a background flavor, overpowered by far by the honey. And the honey made it not only too sweet, but the worst kind of cloying sweet. Worst, the ginger was not discernible in the least. So I guess if I were to make this again, I’d amp up the citrus (most likely by adding zest), reduce the honey, and at least triple the ginger. But, in all honestly, I probably won’t be trying this again soon. I have better things to do with my grapefruits. In fact, I’ll tell you about one later this week!

Recipe here.






8 Responses to “High Hopes”

  1. Karina Says:

    That’s too bad. I hope you do try it again, everything it was supposed to be sounds so good!

  2. brilynn Says:

    I’ve got a couple grapefruit kicking around that I keep wanting to use in a recipe, but I think I’m going to give grapefruit muffins a try, (also, I no longer have my ice cream machine, tear).

  3. ourkitchensink Says:

    Karina: I know — such a disappointment. Maybe I will try it again — I’ll have to see if the grapefruits are still looking great at the store today.

    Brilynn: I’ll keep an eye out for what you do with your grapefruits. I’ve been thinking about a tart or galette that features fanned out grapefruit segments …

  4. Michael Hunter Says:

    Grapefruit Margarita. I like mine on the rocks but you can probably do it frozen instead. Sweet lemon liqueur instead of triple sec. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice instead of rita mix. If you need to sweeten it a bit maraschino cherry juice or grenadine work well. It also adds a little color. (This is also delightful with vodka in place of tequila). Ginger ale is terific for a virgin version. Even my 12 year old likes it.

  5. cakewardrobe Says:

    Don’t give up yet! I def think this recipe has SO much potential. I’d love to see the adjustments you come up with!

  6. ourkitchensink Says:

    Cake Wardrobe: Maybe I’ll give it another go this weekend. You put it perfectly: this recipe has great potential.

  7. Kit Says:

    That’s so sad that the recipe didn’t work! I made a grapefruit-champagne sorbet around the same time that you were making this, and it was awesome, so I know that there is hope for a grapefruit sorbet for you too. The recipe was from David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop” and my husband is still wistfully mentioning it at least once a month (half a year until the next grapefruit season here…)


  8. Kit: I am so with you on counting down to the next grapefruit season! I think that makes two of us (three counting your husband). : )


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