My friend Abi is not a Francophile, per se. She is an expert on French and Francophone culture, so much so that these days she spends a lot of time in France, finishing her dissertation. I often forget custard is French in origin, and I don’t know if pistachios and lavender are especially French, but it seems that way, doesn’t it?
It has been a long hiatus for reasons somewhat boring to mention, but suffice to stay that the ice cream creation and consumption will continue — although in another state, as I’m now in Ann Arbor. While the winters are worse in Michigan than in California, the heat of the summers makes ice cream a particularly necessary treat. Or so I tell myself.
In this season when everyone is eating frozen things, I figured a flavor that almost everyone can enjoy was a good place to start. I mean, you’re not going to serve pesto ice cream to a child, are you? In honor of a particular small human who lives in Oakland and was the only Californian nice enough to record a goodbye video for me, find the below flavor — which almost no one, young or old, will be able to resist.
Perfect for hot weather.
A slight detour from ice cream. Because ice cream usually requires egg yolks but not egg whites, I frequently have leftover whites. I’m ashamed to say that I often just tossed them down the drain, but I’ve subsequently reformed my ways. I’ve been making pasta lately (more on this at another time, I’m sure), which also requires egg yolks but not whites. However, because of the sheer number of yolks required (as many as ten for a half batch of Flour + Water’s basic egg dough), the prospect of wasting that many egg whites was too much to bear. Keep in mind my mother told me recently that she didn’t want to throw out the simple syrup I had made a few months ago because when she was a young girl in India, sugar was rationed and the idea of discarding sugar was anathema to her. I guess in my family we try to avoid waste.
But what to do with egg whites? Someone suggested egg white omelettes, but I’ve always thought they’re kind of sad. I could spice nuts, but give that you only need one egg white for almost two cups of nuts, that seemed inefficient. So I decided to do meringues. I have some friends who don’t eat gluten, and thus my cookies are often off-limits to them. But meringues don’t use flour, so meringues are perfect for then. And, frankly, they’re pretty pleasant — a light treat for when one doesn’t want to be too indulgent.
Light, crunchy, and slightly rose.
I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day for all the typical reasons, but my friend Catherine (aka Kitty B) suggested a flavor that sounded very promising: rosewater and raspberry. Perfect for the holiday that we all love to hate. With the Middle Eastern element of rosewater I decided to toss in some chopped toasted pistachios, because why not?
This is a very simple, yet elegant sorbet that you can do a lot of different things with (different berries, flavors, or nuts being the most obvious modifications). Rosewater can be found at specialty stores pretty easily, and a little goes a long way — if you find it too fragrant, you can dial it back to two teaspoons.