Saturday, August 9, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Black Cherry and Rhubarb Sorbet

Well friends, it has been close to a year since I have last blogged. I am excited to get back into the swing of things but let me first tell you why I have not been blogging. My husband and I are now almost 19 weeks pregnant...woo hoo! 

Unfortunately, it took us close to two years to get pregnant. That time was very difficult on both of us. For me, I started noticing that as "infertility" became a reality for me and my lovely reproductive system, that the feelings of infertility made their way to many other parts of my life. I started feeling as though I was not capable of being fertile or productive in anything...thus I slowly let go of this very creative part of my life. But I'm back and, thank God, am starting to step away from a lot of the habits and feelings that defined that time of my life. 

I came up with this sorbet recipe for an event that has been awesome and life-giving for me this past year... Epic Amazing Dinner Club. Last summer my husband, Sam, one of our foodie friends, Scott, and myself thought that it would be fun to host an Iron Chef-ish dinner party for our friends. Scott and I would compete in a head-to-head six course meal with each of us preparing an appetizer, entree and dessert. We decided that Sam would be the Grand Master of Ceremonies who would decide the theme, rules and mandatory ingredients for the night. Twelve friends came over. Everyone pitched in  $10 to help cover the cost of groceries and also brought a bottle or two of wine to share. The night was a blast. Scott and I got to be super creative. For a million times less than the cost of a fancy dinner out, our friends got to enjoy a six course meal. Needless to say, we all got a little addicted to the idea and, a year later, have successfully had seven dinner parties with every one on the guest list having taken turns cooking. Each party has had a different theme such as: Pearl Harbor, Love, Football Food, Home Cooking, The Rolling Stones and Barbecuing.

Master of Ceremonies John with competitors me and Christina at the Rolling Stones themed party

I made this amazing sorbet for my second dinner club competition in which the mandatory ingredients were based off of Rolling Stones' songs: dandelions, brown sugar, honey and cherries. We had to use all the ingredients but did not have to use each ingredient in every course.

I served this smooth and slightly tart sorbet on top of unbelievable almond butter bars, that literally tasted like marzipan and butter and topped off the whole thing with some sweet, aged balsamic macerated cherries. Oh man, the mixture of the sweet, decadent buttery almond bars with the light and tart sorbet was sooooo good! Please try this one out!

Balsamic Roasted Black Cherry and Rhubarb Sorbet
2 lbs. cherries [I used frozen black cherries because they were less expensive and were pitted]
1/2 lb. rhubarb
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 cup 100% pure cherry juice

Start by prepping your ice cream maker. I have a Kitchenaid ice cream bowl attachment which I have to let sit in a freezer overnight.

Rinse and slice the rhubarb into 1/4 inch slices.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the cherries, rhubarb, brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar together in a mixing bowl until the sugar has coated all of the fruit.

Spread the whole mixture evenly over an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet [the rim keeps the juices in the pan]. Roast for 45 minutes. The fruit will look slightly shriveled and will not be browned, as you might expect from roasting, but the flavors will definitely have intensified during the process!
Let the roasted cherries and rhubarb come up to room temperature then add them into a blender with the remaining tablespoon of vinegar and the cup of cherry juice. Blend until smooth-about a minute or two.

Put the mixture into your ice cream maker and let the maker go, per its instructions. My mixture took about 20-25 minutes until it had thickened. It should look approximately like slightly loose soft serve at this point. No worries, simply poor it into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. After some time in the freezer, it will be perfectly scoop-able.

It is awesome as is but if you want to do what I did, serve it on top of room temperature almond butter bars and top with balsamic vinegar macerated [fancy name for marinating fruit] cherries.