Last year, Max had only one thing on his list for Santa Claus; A Real Ice Cream Maker. He didn't want toys, he didn't want candy. He just wanted the ability to make ice cream. An ice cream maker is exactly what Max woke up to on December 25, and now the whole family is reaping the benefits.
One of the best features of the model that Santa brought is the fact that it requires zero forethought. Most ice cream makers have a canister that needs to be frozen for 24 hours prior to making the ice cream. The model that Max received has a condenser, so it is always ready to go.
I am actually a much bigger fan of sorbet than of ice cream, so that is the latest obsession around these parts. Last weekend, we made rhubarb sorbet with the fresh rhubarb that we bought at the Green City Farmers Market. This weekend, we made strawberry sorbet. We had to use the strawberries we bought at Costco, as local berries are not yet abundant, but it was amazing, regardless. And when I put one scoop of each in a bowl? PERFECTION!
Rhubarb Sorbet (adapted from a recipe in the June 2005 issue of Gourmet)
2 pounds rhubarb stalks, cleaned and cut into one-inch pieces
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Combine all of the ingredients in a very large pot and let sit for 30 minutes. Stir it occasionally. After the 30 minutes, turn the heat on to low, and cook the mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes. You want the rhubarb to release about two cups of liquid, and will need to stir it frequently. Once the liquid is released, turn up the heat to medium and cook an additional 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Puree the mixture in two batches in a blender (be super careful, as hot liquid in a blender can be dangerous!). Put the puree in a medium bowl, and then place that bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water. Stir this mixture occasionally for about 15 minutes until it is cold. (If you don't have tons of bowls laying around, I think you can probably just refrigerate the mixture for an hour.)
Once the mixture is cold, freeze it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturers' directions!