Sunday, January 1, 2012

sparkling wine & apple sorbet

happy new year! new year's eve at living awesomely headquarters was a very sedate affair, just as i'd hoped. after countless years of going to parties and/or bars for the big night, i found myself wanting most of all to just relax last night.

it was all i'd hoped it would be - mike made migas, we drank a little whiskey and a little champagne sparkling wine à la méthode champenoise and watched movies. at midnight, flame-happy portlanders set off dozens of pretty fireworks and i fell asleep soon after.

if you had a party for new year's, however, you might have ended up with some leftover sparkling wine. perhaps a guest brought some that ended up being sweeter than you'd like for regular drinking, or maybe you got some that looked pretty in the bottle but ended up being way too sugary for your taste.

basically, if you have some sweet sparkling wine lying around (or a sweet still wine would probably work, too), you could do much worse by it than making it into an apple-y refreshing sorbet (it looks very melty in the picture, but it hardens up a little more than that.).

we had this lambrusco languishing in the fridge for a couple of days. it was just too sweet to drink on its own, and i am not one to throw away wine, even if i don't particularly want to drink it. i'm not crazy, after all (and i should note - this was the only goodish light i could find to take this - i'm not just trying to show off our all-black book collection. jealous?).

when i started eating an apple that tasted great but had an unfortunately not-so-crisp texture, it all came together - i decided to try making a wine sorbet with bits of apple and a little splash of cider to tie it all together.

i cut the apple into little bits - they were each about the size of ... hmmm, like a bean? like a few grains of rice stuck together? it's not that big a deal.

once you cut up the apple, it's simplicity itself - just pour the bottle of wine into your ice cream maker along with some cider (the juice kind, not the alcoholic kind. although that could be good... maybe?). i used about a quarter of a cup of some pear cider, as that's what we had on hand, but apple cider is of course fine as well. if the wine you have is on the less-sweet side, use more cider. or you could leave the cider out altogether and just use the wine.

let the ice cream maker do its thing for a while, until the wine looks like a delicious alcoholic slushy. then you can add the apple bits and let it go for another 5 minutes or so. then pack it into a freezer-safe container and let it harden for a few hours. then enjoy!

you probably want to be somewhat careful with this, of course - i wouldn't give it to children, for instance. unless they were being particularly screamy. it might calm them down...

but no. probably still not a good idea. it is basically just frozen wine, after all. delicious, appletastic frozen wine.

i think that a little smidge of rosemary might be a good addition to this as well. we have a huge bush of it, but i didn't think of it in time. also, if your apple is nice and crisp and unmushy, you could cook it down with the rosemary and cider a bit (maybe like 1/4 teaspoon of rosemary - that stuff is strong) and get it cold before adding it to the wine slush. that would be good. next time.

this would be great as a palate cleanser between courses of Fancy Dinner or as a tiny ending to a big meal. you could also eat it with a cheese course, i think. but then, i don't really know from wines OR cheese courses, so follow your lights.

happy holidays to you and yours this season. the sad wreath below was our only real decoration this year (as the animals are prone to climbing, leaping on and/or otherwise wrecking any indoor decorations we might try - they're why we can't have nice things), but it's helpful because now i can just open the door to pick off bits of rosemary. so handy!

1 bottle sweet sparkling wine or sweet white wine
1 smallish apple (or a pear would be great, too)
1/4-1/2 cup pear or apple cider

it's not really germane to wine slushies or sorbet, but while writing this i've been listening to cat power and i like this song and video. the end.

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