Recipe: Cucumber Sorbet with Lime Shortbread
Berkshire native Alana Chernila, local politician, mother of two, and author of the new cookbook, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making (Clarkson Potter), dispenses change and cooking ideas at the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market. She shares her peak-of-the-season recipes with Rural Intelligence to help us make the most of what’s growing in our region.
I might be able to live on cucumbers for a very long time, as long they have just a bit of salt on them. Peeled or not, cut into spears or slices, I’ll eat them with glee until the vines are empty.
The truth is, I loved this. It was cold, and herby, and just sweet enough, and the texture was wild and unexpected. My friend Sarah was in the kitchen with me today, and her offer to whip up the lime shortbread as I stirred the frozen cucumber ice was too good to pass up. For the grown-ups, this was just the right dessert, and although Joey’s pickle making obsession has gotten so out of control this year that I have had a hard time getting my hands on the cucumbers in this house (20 jars of pickles!), I was very thankful for the few that I had today.
Cucumber Mint Sorbet with Lime Shortbread
For the Sorbet:
4 pounds cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 5-inch mint sprigs
1 5-inch tarragon sprig
For the Shortbread:
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon rum
1/2 cup toasted roughly chopped cashews
zest of one lime
Make the sorbet:
In a small saucepan, combine the water and the sugar. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil, and let it boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and submerge the mint and tarragon sprigs in the liquid. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
Strain and discard herbs. Puree the cucumbers in a food processor until entirely smooth. Combine the cucumber puree with the sweet herb syrup in a freezer-safe dish. Place in the freezer and freeze for three hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
Make the shortbread:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Butter an 8- or 10-inch springform pan. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the flour, salt, cashews, and rum, and mix just until the flour is combined. Press into the prepared pan, and sprinkle the lime zest over the top. Bake until shortbread is just dry and starting to turn golden, 50-60 minutes.
— Reprinted with permission from Eatingfromthegroundup.com . All text and photos copyright 2008-13 by Alana Chernila.