There are questions that plague me on a regular basis. Questions like, “when will the bar in my closet finally collapse under the weight of a thousand dresses, taking out my flimsy shoe rack in the process?” And “how do I manage to do absurdly clumsy things, like wipe out on my bike for no discernible reason, right in front of some young guy who is nice enough to come over and pick up my bike while I hunt around for my shoe?” (That actually happened earlier today…I am the coolest.) But most of all, I wonder if working from home is beginning to take a serious toll on my social skills. These days, I feel like I’m rounding the “six months in” point on this Degradation of Social Skills timeline and approaching “one year in” at breakneck speed. (See the hilarious full comic here.)
To counteract this, I’ve tried actually engaging people in conversation. This started out a bit weird for me, as I have a tendency to, on occasion, misspeak and stumble over words when I’m thinking too much about what I’m saying, emit loud, bizarre giggles when I’ve decided that speaking has failed me, and become overwhelmed by waves of awkwardness, which cause me to turn bright red, sweat profusely, and consider turning and running in the opposite direction. (And while this isn’t something that happens on a daily basis, my limited social interaction combined with my propensity to dwell on the littlest things usually leaves me in a state of thinking, “oh god, that was the worst thing EVER.”) But slowly, it seemed to get easier. Less freakish laughter. Less awkward perspiration. Less neurotic dwelling. And along with feeling a bit more adventurous, socially, I found myself venturing outside of my comfort zone in other areas. Buying things I would normally walk right past and then figuring out what to do with them. And that is how this awesome sorbet came about.
I’ve never been big on stone fruits (excluding the avocado). It’s something about the softness/mealiness that just doesn’t do it for me. But to shun an entire group of fruits simply because I don’t care for the raw texture is silly. I see this now. These little plums showed me the error of my ways.
It started with the photographs. Their mottled skin made them look moody and mysterious — not like some typical picture-perfect fruits. But then they went into the oven, and that’s when the real magic began. When I opened the oven half an hour later, I was hit with an intoxicating scent. And then I saw this…
Holy crap! Sexiest fruit ever. As I removed their pits and skins, I couldn’t get over how amazing they smelled, and I had to resist eating them straight from the bowl with a spoon. And once I’d blended them with the rest of the ingredients, I knew this sorbet was going to be a winner.
Orange sorbet on its own is great. But the plums bring a richness to the mix, giving the flavor a bit more depth. I realize summer is coming to a close, and ice cream cravings are waning along with it. But with plum season still in full swing, I urge you to whip up a batch and save it for a warm, Indian summer day.
Orange & Roasted Plum Sorbet
yield: 1 quart
- 1 lb of plums (I used yellow, but red or purple would work well too, I imagine)
- 2 cups of orange juice (approximately 8 medium-sized oranges)
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- zest of 1 orange
To roast plums:
Preheat oven to 375°. Arrange whole plums on a baking sheet and roast for 20–30 minutes (depending on the size), or until the skins burst and the plums look all oozy and fabulous. Remove from the oven and let cool, then remove pits and skins and set aside.
To make the ice cream base:
Warm sugar, zest, and 1 cup of juice in a non-reactive saucepan, until sugar is just dissolved. Cover and let cool. Then run through a sieve to remove zest (or just leave it in if you prefer).
Purée plums, sugar/juice mixture, and the remaining cup of juice in a blender or food processor. Chill mixture overnight, then process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.