When planning a menu, I like to mix a few favorites and a few new recipes. I chose this one simply because it fit the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme, but it was actually one of my favorite dishes from the whole day. The texture is light and smooth and though the flavor isn’t terribly strong, it’s very well balanced and the total effect is very refreshing.
If you’re making it in larger quantities, as I did, it will be easier if you start it the day before. The technique is pretty simple – no custard to worry about burning or curdling. It’s simply a lemon syrup and strong tea that are heated up, then mixed together and cooled.
I suppose my only other technical tip is to use a blender or food processor if you’re doing large quantities of mint and use a mixer to beat the egg white. If you’re doing a small batch, though, you won’t even need those.
Minted Earl Grey Sorbet
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 lemon
- 3 Tbs Earl Grey tea leaves
- 2 cup boiling water
- 1 egg white
- 2 Tbs mint leaves
- Put water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved – this will only take a minute or two for small batches.
- Pare the lemon peel from the lemon and drop into the boiling syrup. Simmer for 2 minutes, turn off heat. Set aside to cool.
Put the tea into a pan and pour into the boiling water. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes, then strain into a bowl.
- Use a strainer or spoon to remove the lemon peel chunks, and combine tea and syrup. Chill completely before freezing.
- Freeze tea-syrup mixture first, churning mixture until thick or use a fork/blender to break up the ice in the freezer.
- When the mixture is almost frozen, whip up the egg white until frothy and chop the mint. Open up the frozen sorbet and mix these two in, then continue to churn until firm
Note: I kept the lemon peels to the side after making the syrup, since I have a number of British recipes that call for candied peel and that’s basically what I created by boiling them in the syrup and letting them sit until it cools. I tossed them in a bit more sugar to keep them from sticking to each other and left them sitting out to dry a bit, then stuck them in a bag. They don’t need to be refrigerated – the sugar will preserve them well enough.
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