More to love tropical flavors… Lime
Is it the exotic fresh fruit or simply being on vacation that makes everything taste sweeter and more refreshing? Answer; sweet, sour, tangy, acidic, colorful fruits are great wherever you happen to be. Great tasting food and tropical desserts come from great tasting ingredients like lemons, limes, oranges, mandarin, mango and pineapple. All are excellent in their raw state as well as prepared as a cool smoothie or refreshing sorbet.
About sorbet, its easier than you might think; in fact refreshing frozen sorbet is one of the easiest things to make in your own kitchen with just a blender and freezer. Follow our tips on juice preparation and you’re ready to make a delicious tropical dessert just like you remember in Costa Rica.
Let’s talk lime (or limon) for a moment. South of the USA, lime is pronounced limon, similar to how North Americans say lemon (the yellow thing), but both are called limon, so to distinguish, limon amarillo is the North American yellow lemon and limon verde is a green lime. The yellow lemon is a sub-tropical fruit, found in northern Mexico and above while the green limon, also a sub-tropical, can thrive in the tropics. Dishes cooked with citrus are usually prepared with orange, limon verde or limon mandarina, a less sweet cross between a tangerine and limon verde, reputedly the source of Hanson’s Mandarin Lime soda.
- 1 cup fresh lime juice – about 8-10 limes
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup caster sugar (finely ground sugar) or substitute 2/3 cup extra light Agave Nectar and skip the cooking step. To make caster sugar place sugar in food processor and process until sugar becomes dusty at edges and finely ground but not powdered.
- Zest of lime
Wash fruit and measure ingredients. Put water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to simmer. Cook until sugar dissolves. Over cooking will brown the sugar and begin carmelization, adding a burnt or caramel flavor. Remove from heat and cool or place container in an ice bath to rapid cool. When cool, add zest and fresh juice, mixing well in a blender. Adding fresh juice to hot sugar water will cook the juice and change its flavor. Place mixture in freezer for at least one hour. After an hour, you can use your ice-cream maker if you have one or whip up the semi-frozen mixture in a blender to aerate. Place back into the freezer until 10 minutes before serving. You want semi-soft so it can hold its shape when scooped. If hard-frozen, leave it out for the ten minutes to soften for serving.
Like that serving boat idea? Take your lime, hollow it out so the white inside sectional skins and pith are removed. Cut the tip from the bottom side of the skin, making a slightly flat surface for it to sit upright. Flash freeze while you prepare your mixture to semi-frozen state. When semi frozen, pour into the frozen lime shells for a final freeze. Garnish with lime zest, a thinly sliced pice of lime or mint leaf. A couple of lime halves on a plate make a beautiful display.