Lemons – 2
Limes – 2
Sugar – 5 tbs
Ginger – 2cm cube
Mint – small sprig
Peel the ginger and grate it as fine as you can, then mince the mint leaves into tiny pieces. Put these into a saucepan with 200 ml of water and the sugar, and bring it to the boil. Keep it bubbling gently, uncovered, for about ten minutes, stirring it to make sure that the sugar has dissolved completely. Now set it aside to cool: if you want to speed things up, stand the saucepan in a bowl of cold water, changing the water frequently. A metal spoon resting in the sugar syrup will help draw the heat off too.
(A word of warning about the sugar. I like my sorbet very, very tart. If you have a sweeter tooth than I, you will need to increase the quantity, perhaps as much as doubling it: it’s a process of trial and error.)
When the sugar syrup has cooled completely, squeeze the juice of the limes and lemons, and pour it into a measuring jug. You should have about 250-300 ml of juice, though this of course will depend on the size and juiciness of your fruit.
You’ll need to make a major decision when adding the sugar syrup to the juice. Being a ginger fiend, I pour the whole lot in: ginger and mint pieces and all. This makes the end product almost peppery, and slightly chewy too. If you would prefer something easier on the tastebuds, strain the syrup through a sieve.
Now add sufficient cold water to bring the liquid up to 800 ml, mix it all together well, and tip it into your ice cream maker*. If you have left the ginger and mint in, and if you have a hole in the lid of your ice cream maker, I advise turning the machine on pouring the liquid in slowly over the moving paddle: this should help to stop the bits sinking straight to the bottom. When the sorbet has set, freeze it.
You’ll need to take the sorbet out of the freezer and keep it in the fridge for about half an hour before eating it.
(*If you don’t own this essential piece of equipment, don’t despair. Pour the mix into a plastic container and put it in the freezer until it has begun to set around the edges (90 minutes or a couple of hours). Take it out, beat it into a slushy mess with a fork, and semi-freeze it again. You’ll need to repeat this every half hour or so for the next three or four hours, to make sure that it sets in crystals rather than as a solid block of ice.)
©Anne Hanley, 2013