It's been hot. Sultry. Summer, in fact, and a lot of the food I've been consuming (and making) reflects that.
Late last week I was about to make a Lemon Daiquiri sorbet, courtesy of the recipe in the Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book (Workman Publishing, 1987), when I realized that we didn't have any rum in the house.
We DO, however, always have gin, Creme de Violette, and Maraschino liqueur. What would you do? I decided to adapt the recipe to one of my favorite cocktails, and so the Aviation Sorbet was born.
Juice of 3 large lemons
Zest of one large lemon
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup simple syrup (I used Clementine simple syrup, by-product of candied Clementine rind)
2 1/2 cups cold water
1 tbl. gin
2 tsp. Creme de Violette
1.5 tsp. Maraschino liqueur
3 drops each of red and blue food coloring
Mix everything except food coloring together until sugar is dissolved. It will be a bit grayish in color--the yellow of the lemon juice will dull the Creme de Violette's color. Add food coloring if desired.
Chill for at least four hours. I prefer a velvety texture without the zest; if you do, too, strain and remove the zest. Freeze according to the instructions with your ice cream maker, OR pour into a chilled shallow tray and every half hour for two hours, scrape up the crystals that form. (The granita will have a different texture but will taste just as good.)
Allow the mixture to "ripen" in the freezer, as right out of the ice cream maker it will still be somewhat liquid.
Serve two scoops per person, garnished, if you like. I used sugared pansies.