Sunday, October 28, 2007

Searching for Sherbet

With nearly a quart of leftover buttermilk in the fridge, we got thinking. You can make ice cream out of cream, milk, ricotta, and yogurt, so why not buttermilk? Some cursory internet searching made it obvious that this was not an original idea, and we quickly came upon a David Lebovitz (the reigning ice cream king) recipe for lemon buttermilk sherbet.

I have vague memories from my early childhood of recoiling at the sound of "sherbet" (though I remember it as "sherbert") because it just meant some poor imitation of its more delicious cousin, ice cream. But what exactly is sherbet? In Australia, it means beer. In England, it describes a (different) fizzy drink. Wikipedia has an entire entry entitled "Sherbet (disambiguation)." In America, sherbet can, it seems, mean anything from sorbet to ice cream. I guess we can stick with the dictionary.com definition of
A frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice, sugar, and water, and also containing milk, egg white, or gelatin.
It couldn't be easier to prepare – the only ingredients are water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and buttermilk – and boasts a tart and grown-up taste. Directly out of the ice cream maker, the sherbet was delicious and refreshing, even if the texture left something to be desired after a few days in the freezer. I guess we've learned a few things about sherbet.

2 comments:

Mitch said...

Powdered buttermilk (reconstituted) is a virtually indistinguishable alternative to carton buttermilk and doesn't leave you with an unused pint in the fridge which you often have to throw out eventually.

Mia said...

Thanks for the tip - although I rather enjoy the challenge of using up old odds and ends that are left in the fridge or pantry. We made some yummy Irish soda bread with buttermilk, although my favorite buttermilk-using recipe is for pumpkin-buttermilk pancakes.