Sunday, July 31, 2005

IMBB 17 - Minted Tea Sorbet

I don't know if it was Santos talking about restaurants in Guam serving a simple syrup with iced tea or the mint growing like a weed in my garden, but the first thing, the only thing, that came to mind when I tried to figure out what to make for IMBB 17 was a tea sorbet.

When Clement announced the theme for this IMBB - tasteTea - I was at a bit of a loss as to what I should make. I am familiar with and enjoy tea as a beverage, but I don't think I've ever cooked with it before. I'm sure there are many uses for tea in cooking and I can't wait to learn about them when I read the other IMBB entries. My entry, however, is really just a little twist on that familiar summertime beverage, iced tea.

I made an earlier attempt at this sorbet which turned out to be too bitter. What was interesting about this first attempt was that I had started out with a milder and sweeter mixture, but when I tasted it I thought the tea wasn't coming through enough, so I added some more very strong tea. The resulting mixture tasted really wonderful and perfectly balanced before freezing, but after freezing it didn't taste sweet enough and the tea flavor was much too strong.

So for my second attempt I went back to my original sugar and water measurements, but added one more teabag. After freezing, all the flavors came through and the sorbet was pleasantly sweet. This is very easy and very tasteTea!

Minted Tea Sorbet

3 cups water, divided (I used bottled water)
4 tea bags (I used decaffeinated Typhoo, a black tea)
1 cup sugar
a handful of mint leaves
juice from 1 lemon

Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Pour into a bowl over teabags. Let steep for 5 minutes, then remove teabags (press out water in bags before discarding). Add mint leaves. Mix 1/2 cup water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the sugar syrup and lemon juice to the tea. Refrigerate mixture for several hours or overnight. Remove the mint leaves, then freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Thanks to Clement for hosting what I'm sure is going to be a really great IMBB!!!


Stephanie said...

Cathy, this is wonderful! I'm so happy you had time to make this (saw your earlier post)...your sorbet sounds delicious.

Cathy said...

Hi Stephanie - thanks! I was afraid that the cylinder for my ice cream maker might not have had enough time to chill for this second go-round, but it seemed to do just fine.

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

This sounds wonderfully refreshing. I like the thought of using mint in sorbet. Maybe a non-alcoholic mojito-ish sorbet...hmmm! =P

Cathy said...

Thanks AG! I don't normally put mint in my tea, but I'm thinking I should change my ways! Actually, I normally drink my tea unsweetened, but I think the sweetened tea really brings out the flavor of the mint.

Hi Reid! That's a great idea! I made myself a mojito for the first time last year (with an earlier crop of mint) and loved it - so I think it would make for a fantastic sorbet! I made a Cooking Light recipe a year or two ago called Arctic Lime Freeze (made with tofu and limeade - it was as bad as it sounds). Anyway, I added mint to that, but I didn't steep it. I chopped it up in the blender along with the other ingredients. It was a very harsh and not so pleasant flavor. It might have been that I used too much, but based on that experience I would favor steeping the mint when using it in something sweet.

santos. said...

that is really lovely looking, and the recipe sounds perfect for here! i have to admit, i rarely think about using decaffeinated black teas for anything, but this would be ideal--all the flavour, but just a mild "punch" from the mint....

Cathy said...

Hi Santos - thanks! Blogger is acting up and I just lost my earlier attempt at this response. Hope this doesn't show up twice! :)

Anyway, if you're looking for a decaffeinated tea, I highly recommend Typhoo. Most decaf teas seem flat and bland to me (unlike decaf coffee, which I can't distinguish from regular), but Typhoo tastes great. It's just plain old black tea, so it's not very exotic, but it is a very nice, hearty black tea.