Bourbon and peaches were made for each other, and not just in cocktail form. Here's a grown-up sorbet that marries golden peaches with the vanilla and caramel notes of bourbon — it's a bowl of cool refreshment and warm summer sunshine all at the same time. And you don't even need an ice cream maker to make it.
I call this grown-up sorbet not only because of the booze, but also because it isn't overly sweet. Lemon gives it a bright tartness, and peaches and bourbon provide most of the sweetness, enhanced by a few spoonfuls of honey. That's right — no refined sugar in this recipe!
As for the method, all you need is a shallow pan, a covered container, a fork, and your freezer. Adding bourbon helps ensure that the mixture doesn't freeze rock solid, an indispensable trick when making sorbet without an ice cream maker. Because you need to stir this every hour or so, you'll want to make this on a day when you're at home for an extended period, or when you'll be popping in at regular intervals. But otherwise it's a wonderfully easy summer treat.
Bourbon Peach Sorbet
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes almost 1 quart
5 large yellow peaches (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons bourbon
To make the peach purée, you can use peeled or unpeeled peaches. I like the flecks of color and fiber from unpeeled peaches, but peeled fruit has a more uniform color and texture; it's up to you. Remove the pits and process the peaches in a food processor or blender until smooth. You should end up with about 3 cups of peach purée. (If you have over 3 cups of purée, you can add the excess to fizzy water for a refreshing soda!)
Combine the peach purée with the lemon juice, water, honey, vanilla, and salt and stir. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan — an 8"x8" or 9"x9" cake pan or casserole dish works well.
Place the pan in the freezer and freeze until the edges start to firm up, about an hour. Remove the pan from the freezer and stir with a fork until the consistency is uniform. Return the pan to the freezer and repeat this process every hour or so until the sorbet is nice and slushy throughout, about 4 to 5 hours total.
Stir in the bourbon.
Transfer the sorbet to a lidded container. Place the container in the freezer and freeze until firm.
If necessary, let the sorbet stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes to soften before serving.
(Images: Emily Ho)