My mom’s reaction to my giving her the credit for my interest in cooking was typical for our family (“Why did you say I was the reason?!”). In our family we’re not great at compliments. As I told her, “You know, some parents would be happy about their children given them credit, even if it wasn’t deserved.”
I spent four years in grad school in Ann Arbor (#goblue) and one of my favorite spots to hang out was Zingerman’s — the famous deli, specialty food store, and café. I spent many hours there studying intellectual property and technology policy. One of my favorite Zingerman’s traditions is that many of their sandwiches are named after different people — something I’m going to adopt here.
Mona gets the first honors for two reasons. First, she was the first person to lodge a criticism — proving that I truly am my mother’s son — and second, because this particular recipe is something I think she’d like. It’s basically a tweak to David Lebovitz’s lime sorbet, with some inspiration from Lottie + Doof’s (non-alcoholic!) ginger beer and my own love of candied ginger, which is amazing.
I like limes, even though they’re a flavor I’m a little scared of. Unlike lemon juice, you can’t just put lime juice in something you’re cooking and feel confident it’ll work out. But paired with ginger it’s basically perfect. Ginger is an ingredient that I feel like I always knew as an undertone to cooking — a common feature in the Indian food I grew up with. But it’s only in the last few years that I’ve really grown to love ginger everything . I’ve modified the Lottie + Doof ginger beer recipe by halving it, dropping the sugar, and upping the lime juice, and now I make a batch once a week to sip on day or night (or to mix into a cocktail).
I actually made some ginger beer when I was at my parents’ most recently, and Mona’s enjoyment of it (plus the use of ginger in so much food that we make) seemed enough of a reason to give her this one. Plus, despite what she says, I probably wouldn’t be juicing limes or peeling ginger if it weren’t for her influence.
Mona’s Lime Sorbet with Candied Ginger
(adapted from David Lebowitz’s The Perfect Scoop)
Yield: Approximately 1 quart
2 cups water
½ cup sugar
Zest of one lime
1 cup lime juice
½ cup minced ginger
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Prepare the ginger. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved, add the minced ginger. Stir occasionally. The sugar solution will reduce and start to foam up over the ginger. This is what you want. Let cook for ten minutes. When the sugar solution is approximately the viscosity of oil, remove from heat. Strain ginger from syrup. (Note: the ginger syrup is really good in cocktails with whiskey or gin – so save it if you can!)
Prepare the sorbet. In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, lime zest, and 1 cup water. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved into the water and is effectively clear. Remove from heat, add the remaining 1 cup water and lime juice, and cool in a container for half an hour. Then, refrigerate for two hours.
Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (In case you are wondering what this means in practice — we’ll discuss next time.)