Peppermint & cookie ice cream

I don’t miss a lot about college. But one thing that I was introduced to in college (do you hear me, fellow Wellesley alums?) was peppermint stick pie, a peppermint ice cream pie that was served at “Holiday Dinner”– who knows what it’s called now… probably Holiday Dinner is now not inclusive enough, so it’s just called Winter Festival or End of Semester Dinner, or something like that.

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While I am not a big eater of candy canes, the use of peppermint around Christmas is appealing (okay, I know I am a hypocrite, as many of you who are friends of mine on Facebook know of my vendetta against all things Pumpkin Spice), so I have to say that I appreciate a good peppermint ice cream at the holidays. We also had leftover Thin Mints in the freezer that we had purchased from a sweet little Girl Scout in the summer. I’ve been waiting to find a great use for these cookies, and this was definitely a great mix-in for the peppermint ice cream.

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Nutella ice cream

Three years ago, while Alison and I were visiting my father in Sarasota, he brought us to Big Olaf Creamery. Although there are several locations, the place we visited was a small outpost along a road lined with Amish-owned (as Big Olaf’s is) food establishments. Apparently, Sarasota has a rather large Amish community, many of whom travel down to Sarasota for the winter. [Seriously, read this article on “Amish Las Vegas.” Apparently, what stays in Pinecraft–the Amish area of Sarasota–stays in Pinecraft.]

In any case, the ice cream at Big Olaf’s is divine. We loved it, and now (like a 5 year-old), I insist on going every time I visit.

This past winter when we visited, my interest was piqued by the Nutella Ice Cream at Big Olaf’s. It was hazelnut ice cream with swirls of nutella. I tried it, and I was hooked. I decided I would have to try making it.

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Mango Lime Sorbet

Recently I was craving sorbet, which is very unusual for me. I usually think of sorbet as a poor imitation of ice cream: something people tell themselves is just like ice cream, yet is not at all. But it had been hot for a couple of weeks, and the unrelenting humidity made a sweet, cool, fruity treat sound particularly appealing.

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Mango and lime are a natural pairing, and both were in season in early June. As you can see here, I used Ataulfo mangoes, which are generally sweeter and creamier than other varieties. They make a fantastic base for a tasty and visually appealing sorbet.

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Plus, I suspect it would blend nicely with liquor for a fun summer cocktail (I forgot to try this out before it was gone…damn).

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Sorbets are quite easy to make, although they do require an ice cream maker for best results. If you do not have one, I have seen instructions for freezing the blended sorbet onto a long parchment-lined pan and then blending the resulting product in a food processor or blender. I cannot vouch for this method, but it is worth trying.

The most fun part of making mango lime sorbet? Eviscerating the limes.

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In the end, the limes and mangoes came together nicely to make a wonderfully tart and cooling summer dessert.

Ingredients

3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar*
4 cups cut mango (about 3-4 mangoes)
3/4 cup lime juice from about 6 limes**
1 tbsp dark rum
pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan to the boiling point, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a food processor or blender, blend the sugar syrup, mangoes, lime juice, rum, and salt until smooth. Taste and add more of any ingredients, if desired (I found that the mixture became more tart with freezing).
  3. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge, using a tall tuperware.
  4. Freeze the sorbet in your ice cream maker, following the ice cream maker’s instructions.

* This recipe is quite tart.  It is essential to use very ripe mangoes in order to preserve some sweetness. If you prefer an even sweeter taste, use one cup of sugar instead of 3/4.
** Other recipes I have seen suggest you may need 9 limes to make 3/4 cup. I don’t know why I only needed 6, but you may want to buy more, just in case.